The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine (OFVM) has announced the availability of up to 18 cooperative agreements to be awarded to support multi-jurisdictional, multi-disciplinary Food Protection Rapid Response Teams (RRTs).
The goal of these cooperative agreements is to facilitate long-term improvements to the national integrated food safety system by unifying and coordinating federal/state/local food/feed emergency response efforts including:
- Strengthening the link among epidemiology, lab and environmental health/regulatory components.
- Improving regulatory and surveillance food protection programs to include using Incident Command System (ICS)/National Incident Management System (NIMS) principles, rapidly identifying and removing tainted food from commerce, and conducting root cause investigations to inform future prevention efforts.
- Addressing supporting components, such as training, data sharing, data analysis, communications, continuous process improvement, and development of best practices and other resources to support national capacity development.
The funding supports the objectives of the RRT Program 5 Year Plan. Additionally, these cooperative agreement funds are intended to supplement, not replace, State funding for food protection program improvement and activities. States funded under these cooperative agreements may be required to provide the previous and subsequent years of State funding to demonstrate that these funds have not replaced State allocations for the food protection program.
Further details are available via Funding Opportunity Announcement: RFA-FD-15-020. Letters of intent for FY 2015 are due May 28, 2015. The FY2016 deadline is January 15, 2016.