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Battle Creek, MI could soon witness an increase in local jobs thanks to a new plan instituted by federal legislation to develop a National Center for Food Protection in the downtown area. Spearheaded by the city’s economic development firm and the Kellogg Foundation, the Center would focus on standardization of the food inspection process and increased training for food inspectors.

One of the greatest issues with food safety is the lack of uniform inspections and training for all food inspectors. The recent Salmonella outbreak in the peanut industry, its costly effects on the food industry, and the nine deaths that also resulted, are evidence enough of this. In fact, the peanut-processing plant was inspected by federal, state, and private inspectors, some of which rated the plant satisfactory, while others deemed it unsanitary.

The Center will be the first of its kind to attempt to resolve this problem through training and standardization of the food safety profession, potentially saving vulnerable lives from food borne illnesses, and saving the food industry from costly food contamination episodes in the future.

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