U.S – The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has announced recipients of the 2021-2022 Food Safety Education Fund (FSEF) grants for food safety training for the food industry and education and outreach for consumers.
The FSEF is a 12-month competitive grant program, now following the state’s fiscal calendar year from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 each year.
Gary McDowell, MDARD Director commented that these grants are integral for helping train the food and agriculture industry to maintain the safety, nutritional value, and quality of food throughout the food chain.
“Education provided to consumers through these grants helps assure an awareness of food safety, and the role each of us plays in keeping our food supply safe and wholesome. Both are important in protecting public health and growing Michigan’s food and agriculture economy,” he said.
The FSEF grant program puts funds into the hands of those who have direct contact with restaurant and retail grocery store workers who handle food, and with consumers. The fund was established under the Michigan Food Law of 2000, as amended, Sec. 4117, and is funded through assessments of US$3 to US$5 from licensing fees paid by Michigan food establishments.
The grant program is designed to provide food safety training and education to consumers, and training and education to food service establishment employees and agents of the director who enforce Michigan’s food regulations.
MDARD received a total of 11 grant proposals with only 10 meeting the grant proposal criteria, and requesting funds totaled US$391,834. Of the 11 proposals, MDARD awarded seven projects totaling US$213,739, with US$150,739 directed toward Consumer Food Safety Education, and US$63,000 toward food service establishment employees and agents of the director who enforce Michigan’s food regulations.
Great Lakes Conference on Food Protection received a US$5,000 grant for training and scholarship funds for state and local food safety regulatory staff while the Michigan Dairy Industry Conference received the same amount to conduct milk safety training and education for dairy industry and regulatory staff.
The Michigan Environmental Health Association was awarded a US$31,000 to carry out food protection training for environmental health professionals.
Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association received three different grants for diverse activities and the Michigan Farmers Market Association was granted US$54,989 for statewide consumer food safety education outreach.