Arkansas Department of Health's Wholesale/Manufactured Foods Inspection Program & Rapid Response Team Building Project Project SummaryCurrently the Arkansas Department of Health's (ADH) Wholesale/Manufactured Foods Program(WMFP) in the Food Protection Section of the Environmental Health Branch has been operational andfunctioning since 2013. Previous to 2013, inspections of manufactured food firms conducted byArkansas Department of Health staff were conducted on two-hundred firms listed on the Food & DrugAdministration (FDA) contract for the year. We do not have a Rapid Response Team (RRT) and weare in the building and implementation phase of our Food Protection Task Force (FPTF). This projectproposal will ensure continued development for the Wholesale/Manufactured Foods Program; providethe foundation for the development of a Rapid Response Team as well as further expand our efforts increating a Food Protection Task Force.The Cooperative Agreement requested would continue to be used to support our manufactured foodsinspection program efforts for the state of Arkansas so that our program progress to meet the fullconformance with the MFRPS; maintain support for our electronic inspection program and ensurecontinuation of our participation with the National Food Safety Data Exchange.The funds requested for RRT will develop and maintain the program. Funds will support a full-time RRTcoordinator, training, travel, and all associated support. Recently, WMFP has received written andinformal statements of support for the development of a mutual alliance from multiple groupssuggesting that food safety in Arkansas will continue to strengthen in the future.The development and maintenance funds requested for FPTF will establish and support FPTF.Comprised of stakeholders, the FPTF will promote an Integrated Food Safety System (IFSS) to improvehuman and animal food safety and defense through program coordination and information exchangewithin Arkansas and with federal partners.The ADH mission is to protect and improve the health and well-being of all Arkansans. Building an IFSSand establishing a mutual reliance with federal and state partners will support the ADH mission. Withcontinued FDA support, the Arkansas WMFP can continue to improve food safety within Arkansas andprepare for unexpected food incidents that could potentially extend beyond stateliness in the future. Ifthe award is not approved for the systems and resources requested, the ADH would not be able tocontinue to fund a Wholesale/Manufactured foods program.