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Utah’s new rapid response team focuses on foodborne disease outbreaks

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Agriculture now has a rapid response team that will help out during an outbreak of foodborne illnesses like salmonella or during a natural disaster.

The FDA awarded Utah’s Department of Agriculture and Food $1.3 million to help fund a team of food safety experts from local, state and federal jurisdictions.  Specifically, they’ll make sure the food supply is safe, make public safety announcements during an outbreak and coordinate with hospitals to make sure people who get sick are treated.

Travis Waller, regulatory director at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food told the Deseret News that they take every outbreak seriously and this new team will strengthen existing relationships with other agencies that will be helpful should there be a regionwide incident.