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ISU sets new federal food safety law sessions

By Staff | Nov 25, 2011

AMES – Angela Laury, an Iowa State University food safety specialist, will work with Iowa producers and manufacturers to promote food safety.

The sessions are set for 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 7 at ISU, 194 Meat Laboratory, Ames.

She will introduce food producers to the Food Safety Modernization Act, a new federal law designed to encourage safety through preventive measures.

Laury and Aubrey Mendonca, an ISU associate professor of food science and human nutrition, will be touring the state beginning in December, meeting with food producers about the first stage of regulations and how to comply.

There will be updates every three months over the four years the new law will be implemented.

“The same principles apply for all those producing food,” Laury said. “In general, all food companies need to have those things in place no matter if the government’s looking over your shoulder or not.

“It’s just another step in ensuring that our food supply is safe.”

Producers that have had food sales of $500,000 or more for the last three year are the first ones required to comply with the new provisions, but Laury said eventually smaller producers will be expected to follow the regulations.

“There will be more accountability, more inspections and more fees, if producers are not in compliance,”?Laury said. “We want to make sure they’re prepared and ready ahead of time.”

In-person sessions are limited to 55 participants for a fee of $50 and the webinar fee is $100.

Registration is available online and as a downloadable form that can be mailed with fee payment; both are available at www.fshn.hs.iastate.edu/fsma/, along with additional information.

Food safety specialist

Laury began work in August as an assistant professor in food science and human nutrition and Extension food safety specialist.

She earned two degrees from ISU, a bachelor’s degree in animal science in 2003 and a master’s degree in meat science in 2006.

Laury completed a doctorate at Texas Tech University in animal science, with an emphasis in food safety and microbiology.

While in Texas, she worked on food safety issues with growers of vegetables, fruits and nuts as well as the meat industry.

In her new position, which is 60 percent research and 40 percent extension, Laury will be working mainly with farmers and food manufacturers covering nearly every type of food that has food safety concerns and can make consumers sick.

Laury is also studying the non-O157 STEC bacterium that was responsible for the sprout outbreak in Germany earlier this year and has been responsible for outbreaks in the United States, but not in Iowa.

She is working to develop intervention strategies against the bacterium.

“It is more deadly than the E. coli 0157H7 that people hear about so much.

“It’s not as common, but more deadly and causes more illness,” she said.

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