The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

August 3, 2013

Food safety panel discusses future

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The Oklahoma Food Safety Task Force coordinating committee met at Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center on July 23 to discuss the future of the task force.

“This is the fifth meeting of the task force,” said Stan Stromberg, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry food safety director. “One of the main purposes of this task force is to gather a diverse group of Oklahoma stakeholders comprised of government, academia, industry and consumer groups together to establish an effective statewide infrastructure.”

The task force was created to foster communication, cooperation and collaboration of effort related to food safety in Oklahoma spanning the horizon from production, processing, distribution, retail and foodservice sales, and home consumption of the food supply.

“Besides the traditional food-affiliated groups such as state agencies, national agencies, representatives of food wholesalers and agricultural commodities, we also have included groups involved with investigations as food defense is an important part of food safety,” said Peter Muriana, FAPC food microbiologist.

In 2009, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry received a five-year $5,000 grant from the Food and Drug Administration to fund the task force.

Since the inception of the task force, members have met each year to strengthen the relationships between the organizations represented, train for all potential food emergency hazards and identify priorities for the task force.