Produce Safety to Highlight St. Joseph's Univ. Training Exercises

PHILADELPHIA -- Food industry stakeholders, emergency responders, and government officials will participate in a series of training exercises on the protection and defense of the U.S. food supply at Saint Joseph's University here next week.

The program, called "Protect & Defend 2007," will use a nationally developed model to train participants in the event of a large-scale food contamination or agro-terror event. The event is offered at no cost to attendees. It will be held July 25-26.

This year's program focuses on produce safety, Saint Joseph's spokeswoman Carolyn Steigleman told Progressive Grocer. Participants will tour the facilities of the Philadelphia-based produce distributor Procacci Brothers, and engage in a training exercise. They will also hear from Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolf and participate in a series of tabletop exercises.

The event is sponsored by Saint Joseph's University's Early Responders Distance Learning Center (ERDLC) and Center for Food Marketing (CFM), operating through the Pennsylvania Institute for Food Marketing Education and Research (PIFMER) at the University. Additional sponsorship and support is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the Southeastern Pennsylvania United States Attorney's Office, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Anti-terrorism Advisory Council.

For more information contact Patty Smith at (610) 660-1623 or visit
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