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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – The Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture was recognized for its important work last year with a national award, the 2022 Elliot O. Grosvenor Food Safety Award from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO).

The award recognizes programs that best demonstrate improvement, innovation, or sustained excellence in a food safety program. The bureau was one of only two food safety programs in the country to receive this year’s award.

The department was awarded for:

  • Implementation of a comprehensive results performance management (Results PA) system to better support data-driven decisions.
  • By continuing to evaluate the agency’s laboratory and regulatory programs against national standards in order to maintain international laboratory accreditationcompliance with the FDA Industrial Food Regulation Program (MFRPS) standards and increased compliance with the FDA’s National Voluntary Food Regulatory Program Standards (NVRFRPS) are all requirements that require regular self-assessment.

The department has also received recognition for the agency’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the achievements of the agency:

  • Distribution of personal protective equipment to restaurant operators, manufacturers, grocers and other food service workers.
  • Advising restaurant operators in partnership with industry associations on food safety issues in relation to the transition from on-site service to pre-packaged takeaway offerings.
  • Volunteer proactive counseling in USDA-inspected food and meat processing facilities to advise on methods to protect essential food workers.
  • Carrying out pre-season preventive examinations in seasonal agricultural labor camps.
    • Pennsylvania was recognized as one of eight states that had strong protections for seasonal agricultural labor and migrants.
  • Meeting 90 percent of inspections in 2020 and exceeding the usual number of inspections by 15 percent in 2021

“Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services is working incredibly hard to keep our farmers, restaurant workers, employees and the public safe because that’s what they do, that’s what drives them. Over the past two years, they have gone the extra mile in responding to the health crisis in addition to their normal duties,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “This national award is well deserved for all that the bureau has done and continues to do for the health and safety of the people of Pennsylvania. I applaud our staff for their leadership during difficult times and their dedication to our agency’s mission.”

This award was established by AFDO in 2010 and is given in recognition of outstanding achievement in food safety programs in the state departments of agriculture, natural resources agencies, health or environmental departments in the United States or Canada.

The department was honored at the AFDO Annual Education Conference in Glendale, Arizona on June 14, 2022.

Note: A photo from the awards ceremony is attached. The photo shows employees of the department who received an award from the agency. (From left to right: Susannah Pyle, Nicole Martz, Acting Bureau Director Sheri Morris, Stephanie Smith, Kelly Kline.)

CONTACT FOR THE MEDIA: Shannon Powers – [email protected]Elliot O. Grosvenor Food Safety Award 2022 PDA Photo (002) .jpg

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