LONDON, June 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) based in York, U.K., and Waters Corporation (NYSE: WAT) based in the U.S. have today announced that they will open a new laboratory-based training facility, combining their respective regulatory, scientific and industry expertise to help solve the global food safety challenge.
According to a recent report from the European Commission, "there has been an alarming increase in food safety incidents" over the past few years in industrialised countries. The EC noted that the complex food supply chain and the continued growth of food exports and imports — which today exceed 690 billion pounds Sterling (over 860 billion Euros) annually — increase the risks to consumers while also posing risks to European economies reliant on seafood exports, for example.The Fera International Food Safety Training Laboratory (Fera IFSTL) will help by teaching the best available techniques for testing for food contamination and educating them on the different food safety regulatory standards around the world. This will help testing organisations to better detect contaminated food at farms, ports and manufacturing plants and increase compliance with food regulations, ensuring food is safe before it reaches the table. The training facility, based near York, will primarily train those concerned with exporting foods to Europe. Fera Chief Executive Adrian Belton welcomed the initiative, saying, "This is an excellent collaborative opportunity which will lead to real benefits throughout Europe and beyond. Fera's food science experts are internationally recognised and now they will be able to pass on that expertise through this new purpose built training centre. This initiative is just one of several recent developments that support the development of a science and innovation campus at this site." At the Fera laboratory, Fera scientists will lead intensive training programmes on EU-recommended testing methods for detecting possible contaminants in food using the latest technology and equipment. Courses will focus on detecting chemical contaminants preparing and testing samples according to fit-for-purpose methods to allow scientists to validate and use results to make the right decisions about whether food is safe and meets regulatory requirements.