About Us

Celebrating 25 years:  Minnesota Governor's Food Safety and Defense Task Force

Since 1990, the Governor’s Food Safety and Defense Task Force has continuously met to discuss the issues affecting Minnesota’s food system. Officially, 16 members consisting of the Commissioner of Agriculture, the Commissioner of Health, representatives of the Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture, the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, the University of Minnesota, a local health food inspection agency, and nine additional members representing the public, food, and agriculture industries and groups comprise the Task Force.

Mission

The mission of the Food Safety and Defense Task Force is to: (1) coordinate educational efforts regarding food safety and defense; (2) provide advice and education to agencies as requested; (3) serve as a source of information and referral for the public, news media, and others concerned with food safety and defense; and (4) make regulatory recommendations to Congress, the legislative committees with jurisdiction over agriculture finance and policy, the legislature, and others about appropriate action to improve food safety and defense in the state. In addition, the Task Force supports the Integrated Food Safety System (IFSS) initiative promoted by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) by providing an interdisciplinary response to food safety and defense issues.

Funding

In 2013, the Task Force was awarded a new Cooperative Agreement for 2013-2017. The budget for the next five years is $9000 per year for a total of $45,000. This funding allows the Task Force to host more workshops and trainings than previously done in the past. For example, this coming year the Task Force will host workshops on “Allergen Control” and "Traceback Investigations.”

For more information or to inquire about opportunities to work with the Task Force or to seek assistance from the Task Force, contact Carrie Rigdon at 651-201-6453 at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.