the Seafood HACCP Alliance will help stakeholders understand emerging concerns for imported products and new regulatory guidance, FDA says

FDA Set to Continue Support of Seafood HACCP Alliance

Managed by the University of Florida, the alliance is known worldwide for approving training courses, trainers, and certifications for seafood safety programs.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Food Safety announced Monday it intends to award as much as $575,000 to continue the Seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points Alliance for Education and Training, which is managed by the Florida Sea Grant College Program at the University of Florida. The alliance has been based there since 1994 and is directed by a steering committee that includes representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, FDA, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Fisheries Institute, and the Seafood Processors Association.

According to FDA's notice, the alliance known worldwide and is a multifaceted effort that involves every pertinent state regulatory agency in the nation with protocols established through the Association of Food & Drug Officials and its six regional affiliates. Those protocols include standards for approving training materials, trainers, and courses and procedures for certifications and records for course graduates and evaluations. The new agreement will enable the University of Florida to "continue and strengthen the valued utility and proven impacts of the existing Seafood HACCP Alliance for Education and Training through updates, additions, and new programs that address the changes in seafood safety risks, regulations, and commerce that have occurred through the past decade. These changes are particularly necessary to address the emerging concerns for imported products and new regulatory guidance," the notice states.

Estimated funding will be up to $115,000 this year, with the possibility of four additional years for up to $460,000, subject to the availability of funds. The anticipated start date is September 2009.

FDA's Seafood HACCP Web page offers sample plans, training modules, and links to get additional information from various grantees and sources.

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