UT, State Health Department Launch Center to Address Food-borne Illnesses

The University of Tennessee is partnering with the state Department of Health to develop training that will enhance responses to food-borne illness outbreaks in Tennessee and across the country.

(AP Photo/Mel Evans)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) —The University of Tennessee is partnering with the state Department of Health to develop training that will enhance responses to food-borne illness outbreaks in Tennessee and across the country.

UT will establish the Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence through a $200,000 grant given to the Tennessee Department of Health through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tennessee was one of five states to receive grants. The other four are Florida, Oregon, Colorado and Minnesota.

Three UT entities are partners on the grant: Paul Erwin, director of the Department of Public Health in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences; Sharon Thompson, a clinical assistant professor in the Center for Agriculture and Food Security and Preparedness; and Faith Critzer, assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology. The last two are on the UT Institute of Agriculture campus.

John Dunn is deputy state epidemiologist and principal investigator on the award.

"This research grant is important to the university because it positions us to work closely with a stellar state health department in efforts to protect the public's health through specific work force development activities," Erwin said.


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