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Waters Teams with FDA, U. of Maryland on International Food Safety Lab

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The International Food Safety Training Laboratory, a public-private partnership to provide training for food safety detection methods and regulatory standards, has opened, Waters, a partner on the initiative, announced today.

The other partners are the US Food and Drug Administration, the University of Maryland, and their Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

The IFSTL, Waters said, is the world's only permanent food safety lab that provides hands-on training on food safety detection methods and classroom lessons on regulations, enabling governments and food exporters to "ensure food is safe before it reaches the table."

The laboratory, it added, will support FDA and help foreign food producers meet requirements such as the US Food Safety Modernization Act signed into law earlier this year.

Scientists from FDA and the US Department of Agriculture and university experts will conduct training sessions on how to detect both chemical and microbial contaminants, and prepare and test samples. Trainees will also be able to enroll for courses that tackle specific issues of concern to the US and other geographies.

The IFSTL, which will be operated by the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, has the capability of training 200 professional each year, Waters said.

The company has made a multi-year commitment to provide funding for the construction of the IFSTL and to assist the institute and FDA design training programs. It also is equipping the laboratory with UPLC systems, photodiode arrays, fluorescence systems, and mass spectrometers.

The creation of IFSTL was first announced in May 2010, and since then Waters has had discussions with governments in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, India, and the Americas about creating additional hands-on training capacity, it said.