Emerging health issues surrounding food safety in our country have called to question the safety and security of our food supply both domestically and globally. While the United States enjoy some of the safest food in the world, the continuing incidences of outbreaks, recalls and warnings clearly demonstrate that there is substantial room for improvement.
The food industry is a complex global system of production, processing, distribution and marketing that makes it crucial that we can understand, manage and safeguard supply chains and technologies at all levels of the international marketplace. It is these exact reasons that in 2006, the University of Maryland has established the Center for Food Safety and Security Systems (CFS3) within the College of Agricultural and Natural Resources.
With the help of a $1.2 million endowment from Robert A. Facchina, a 1977 alumnus and now CEO of yogurt and beverage maker Johanna Foods, CFS3 was established to assemble and coordinate the university's extensive research, education, and outreach capabilities in order to make meaningful improvements in food protection, regionally, nationally and internationally.
Solutions to food safety and security issues can only be achieved by combining the expertise, capabilities, and experiences of academia, industry and government. CFS3's unique locations gives us the capability to work cooperatively with each, allowing for access to an array of scientific partners in the Washington, D.C. area, such as:
- Food and Drug Administration
- United States Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service
- United States Department of Agriculture: Food Safety and Inspection Service
- United States Department of Agriculture: Foreign Agricultural Service
- National Institutes of Health
- Department of Homeland Security
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Department of Defense
- Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Along with these government agencies the University is in close proximity to a number of agriculture and food industry organizations, professional societies and foreign embassies, all of which create opportunities for the development of research and outreach programming.
With these resources available the Center for Food Safety and Security Systems is committed to developing the tools and concepts that will improve and safeguard the lives of consumers around the world.