The Governor’s food safety summit brings together state and national professionals for education and networking.
Various leaders in the health, disease and agriculture industry are gathered in Jefferson City today to wrap up the two-day summit.
Dennis Baker is the Regional Director of the Southwest Region — including Missouri — for the Food and Drug Administration. Baker talked about one recent food-borne illness outbreak from alfalfa sprouts that affected our state.
A salmonella outbreak from Jimmy Johns sandwiches made people ill in Iowa, Nebraska and parts of Missouri. When the FDA investigated, they traced the contamination not to the grower of the alfalfa sprouts in Nebraska, but rather to the seeds that were imported from Italy.
Baker says it shows the importance of the tracing process, as well as how working with agencies abroad to stop the contamination. He says in the international trade market, it’s important to have measures in place to stop contaminated food products from coming into the U.S. once a problem’s been identified.
Baker says the no one has enough resources to do it all, and that this summit seeks to improve networks between agencies so they can share information and resources as well as improve outreach and planning.