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Global Defense: Building Resilience in Disaster Response Systems

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

By Amy Kircher, DrPH and Erin Mann

We recently returned from a whirlwind, 8-day trip to Sierra Leone and Rome as part of the “Building Resilience in Disaster Response Systems” project. Funded by the Paul G. Allen Ebola Program, FPDI has partnered with the Logistics Cluster of the World Food Program (WFP) to improve medical supply chain visibility, both upstream (manufacturers / suppliers) and downstream (distribution). The partnership with WFP was launched in earnest this month when WFP invited us to Sierra Leone to observe downstream operations in an Ebola-affected region and then on to Rome for several working sessions at WFP headquarters.

[Webinar] Lessons Learned from the 2014/2015 H5 Avian Influenza Outbreak - December 4, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

The H5 avian influenza outbreak in the United States has been the largest animal health emergency in the country's history and has had far reaching effects on poultry producers, communities, and food processors. This presentation will discuss what has been learned from research efforts to understand the factors that contributed to the scale of this outbreak and implications for biosecurity and business continuity moving forward.

Meet FPDI: Natallia Pintusava

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Natallia Pintusava is a Chemical Engineering student at the University of Minnesota who works on our Economically Motivated Adulteration projects. A large portion of her work at the Institute is dedicated to research on global EMA incidents and keeping the EMA incidents database up-to-date. Natallia has always been passionate about food and keeping the food system safe and reliable for consumers.

Accepting Applications for Summer 2016 Research Teams

Monday, November 2, 2015

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Summer Research Team (SRT) Program for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) is open to all full-time faculty teaching in a HS-STEM discipline related to a DHS Research Area at a MSI with plans to continue research at that same MSI during the 2016-2017 academic school year. 

Food Protection Message - October 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

1080. Most people when they hear this number are going to think that you are talking about the resolution of your TV.  For those in New Zealand this number can provoke a very different reaction – anger and disbelief.  A year ago this month a terrorist(s) threatened Fonterra and Federated Farmers Inc. with contamination of their infant formula with 1080—the potent rodenticide—if they didn’t convince the New Zealand government to stop using the rodenticide by March of 2015.  New Zealand has used 1080 to control their non-indigenous population of possums and other invasive rodents for a number of years.  It is also used in the U.S. to protect sheep and goats from coyotes.

FPDI Director Featured in UMN Driven to Discover Campaign

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Food Protection and Defense Institute’s Director, Dr. Amy Kircher, is featured in the University of Minnesota’s new Driven to Discover campaign. The 2015 campaign highlights a number of UMN researchers who are focused on changing the world. Other featured researchers include Dr. Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Blood & Marrow Transplantation; Dr. Keith Mayes, African American & African Studies; and Dr. David Mulla, Soil, Water & Climate. Make sure to check out all of the videos and pages to see how the University of Minnesota is Driven to Discover.

Food for Thought - A Guide to Food Terminology

Monday, October 19, 2015

We are often asked at the Institute about the differences between food protection, food defense, and food safety. We can easily explain that food defense deals with intentional adulteration of the food system, while food safety focuses on unintentional contamination of the food supply. But what about the other food terms that are thrown around? The U.S. food system is one of our top critical infrastructures and we need to have proper terminology when referring to different aspects of food protection. We have put together a quick guide to food terminology to showcase how complex protecting our food supply can be. 

[Webinar] Profiting from Traceability - November 6, 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015

Traceability forms the foundational backbone to mitigating food safety and defense risks and vulnerabilities because it gives greater visibility across the entire supply chain – you cannot solve a problem you don’t know you have! However, pragmatic implementation of effective traceability relies on achieving commercial advantages in addition to serving the greater public good. This webinar will summarize the results of extensive research conducted by the Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC) to provide insights into improving a company’s bottom line by enhancing existing traceability practices. It will also discuss best practices to recognize operational efficiencies and gain market access through enhanced traceability.

FPDI Receives $1M Grant for Ebola Research

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

SAINT PAUL, MN – The Food Protection and Defense Institute, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence based at the University of Minnesota has been awarded a $1 million grant by the Paul G. Allen Ebola Program to utilize “big data” and predictive analytics to identify emerging disease outbreaks and improve the resilience of health care supply chains in the wake of the Ebola crisis.

Food Protection Message - September 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Two historic food defense events occurred this September. These events specifically deal with Economically Motivated Adulteration (EMA), an increasingly more common issue that we vigilantly monitor. On September 10th, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released the final Preventive...