The push to improve training for government food protection professionals began in earnest at a 2008 meeting hosted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). At what was referred to as the “50-State meeting,” federal, state and local government professionals recognized that to establish a truly integrated food safety system (IFSS), the workforce at all levels of government should be afforded high-quality training. The IFSS envisioned by FDA represents a national collaborative of food protection regulatory agencies working in concert to protect the nation’s food supply. In order to achieve the IFSS concept of mutual reliance across all levels of jurisdiction and agencies, there must be comparably trained and assessed food protection professionals.
The Partnership for Food Protection (PFP) was created to oversee the projects coming out of the 50-State meeting, and a Training and Certification Workgroup was formed with a charge to develop standard curricula (and certification programs) that would promote consistency and competency among the IFSS workforce. The goal was to develop a competency-based National Curriculum Standard for the estimated 30,000 to 50,000 regulatory food protection professionals in more than 2,500 federal, state and local jurisdictions across the U.S.