Sunday, March 29, 2009

Job Postings on the IFLR Website

From time to time, the Institute for Food Laws & Regulations (IFLR) receives lead on job openings that may interest our graduates.  We post the on the IFLR Website.  Please see the box in the lower right of the web page.

For those of you who may have a job opening, we encourage you to post these on the IFLR website.  Just click on “Post a Job” in the Jobs box.  This service is free!  Postings expire after 30 days, but jobs may be reposted as often as needed charge.

Friday, March 27, 2009

AFDO Awarded Kellogg Foundation Grant to Develop International Food Protection Training Institute

The Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $2,000,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to create and develop an international food protection training institute. The training institute will be a key component of a national food protection center to be located in Battle Creek, Michigan. While the overall purpose of the training institute is to address the unmet educational needs of food protection professionals, its immediate focus will be on the urgent need for standardized, graduated, and career-spanning training of state and local food protection professionals to meet generally recognized food safety standards.

AFDO and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation are committed to improving the food safety system, which has come under intense criticism recently as a result of several multi-state foodborne illness outbreaks. “Americans depend on state and local food inspectors to protect us from health hazards that cost lives, but those inspectors frequently lack adequate training to do their jobs, and our states can’t afford to develop or sustain good training programs,” said Rick Foster, Vice President of Programs for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

“In 1998, AFDO called for the creation of a nationally integrated food safety system. The development of a national food protection training institute is a major step in moving toward a more coordinated and effective system,” said Joseph Corby, Executive Director of AFDO. “These training programs will encompass all stakeholders and all elements of food protection. The certified curricula will meet specific standards, span a professional’s entire career, and serve as an umbrella to incorporate existing training programs,” Corby added.

In June 2000, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a report on oversight by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of state contracts. In this report, the OIG recommended that the FDA take steps to promote equivalency among federal and state food safety standards, inspection programs, and enforcement practices. State food inspectors perform more than 90 percent of all food plant inspections in the U.S., including more than half of all FDA inspections under contracts with FDA. Yet, there is no mandatory training requirement for state and local food safety professionals, and training varies by state. In fiscal year 2008, state and local inspectors conducted more than 2,000,000 inspections, including approximately 10,000 FDA food contract inspections.

AFDO Committees will be charged to assist the organization in developing this training institute. A special meeting for AFDO Committee Chairs will be held in Chicago prior to AFDO’s Annual Education Conference to discuss these charges and other issues relating to this project.

Additional information about the development of the International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI) can be found on AFDO’s website:

About W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930. The organization supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

For further information on the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, please visit the Foundation’s website at

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Farm Foundation $20,000 Public Policy Competition

Farm Foundation has organized a competition seeking innovative and promising public policy options to address the challenges agriculture may face in providing food, feed, fiber and fuel over the next 30 years.  The competition is open to anyone with an interest in the public policy issues outlined in the Foundation's report, The 30-Year Challenge: Agriculture’s Strategic Role in Feeding and Fueling a Growing World.  The Foundation intends to award cash prizes totaling $20,000.  Entry deadline is June 1, 2009. Details of the competition are posted here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Healthy Foods, Healthy Bodies and Healthy Budgets Webcast (March 25)

The National Conference of State Legislatures will host a free, limited-space webcast on policy options for healthy foods and physical activity on March 25, 2009 from 12:00-1:30 p.m. ET. For more information, visit


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Frank Yiannis to Speak June 18, 2009

For Robert Leader Endowed Lecture, Frank Yiannis will speak June 18, 2009. As Vice President of Food Safety, Frank Yiannas oversees all food safety, as well as other public health functions, for the world's largest food retailer, Wal-Mart.  Training and education of thousands of Associates, hundreds of food suppliers, and a number of critical regulatory compliance issues also come under his purview. Prior to joining Wal-Mart in 2008, he was the Director of Safety & Health for the Walt Disney World Company, where he worked for 19 years.  He is the author of the book, Food Safety Culture, Creating a Behavior-based Food Safety Management System, released by Springer Scientific.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Seminar: "Food Safety and Meat Demand: Why I Don't Eat Lunchmeat"

Mykel Taylor, Assistant Professor and Extension Economist, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University will present a seminar, "Food Safety and Meat Demand: Why I Don't Eat Lunchmeat" on March 19, 2009, 3:30-5:00 pm in Room 75 Agriculture Hall, Michigan State University.

Dr. Taylor's bio information is available at:

Procrastination Killer and Beyond

Procrastination killing may seem like an odd topic for this site.  In today’s connected world, many who never had difficulty staying on task before find themselves distracted by electronic media or caught up in compulsive web surfing.  One common challenge faced by IFLR students is dealing with dozens upon dozens of enticing Internet links to information an appetizing selection of food law topics. 

Merlin Mann says that procrastination can be remedied by running dashes, short bursts of productivity :

Why the Heck Should This Work? By making even the most modest bit of progress on your hated task, you’ve done what once seemed impossible: you got started. When you realize how much of the anxiety you’d experienced was created in your head, you’ll experience huge relief and give yourself the jolt needed to get back on track. You can do a dash any time and for virtually any kind of project. The task has not been conceived that cannot be made smaller and more dash-able.

Merlin Mann's (10+2)*5 dash technique breaks hours into 10-minute bursts of productivity followed by two-minute breaks.  This Procrastination Killer application helps you time and controls those dashes. This is a stand-alone, no-install-needed app.  Note that you can turn off "Always on Top," and it pops up to tell you you’re due for a break. The app is free to download here.

I have never been known to be a procrastinator, but I have found this technique and app useful for another challenge to productivity. Sometimes I find myself facing a long list of short tasks (a/k/a “mosquitoes”).  I hate to break away from the big tasks to tackle the mosquitoes, but, of course, I can spare ten minutes.

FedEx Offices Offering Free Resume Printing Tomorrow [Free]

On March 10, FedEx (formerly Kinko's), if you stop by (in person) with a paper or digital file of your resume, you can get 25 copies printed for free.  For the closest location, find it at their store locator. This offer is good for 25 black-and-white resume copies per customer printed single-sided on resume-quality paper.

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