FORT LEE, Va. (Oct. 8, 2009) – The Army Center of Excellence, Subsistence hosted 24 participants from the Central Atlantic States Association of Food and Drug Officials Sept. 15.
CASA works to improve coordination among local, state and federal jurisdictional food and drug regulating agencies.
CASA personnel belong to agencies that regulate food operations to ensure safety, sanitation and defense are kept to the highest possible standards.
Government Regulatory Agencies for Food Safety and Defense Partnership Day included staff from Virginia’s Food and Drug Administration, the Virginia Department of Agriculture, Virginia Department of Health and members of the local retail industry. CASA members came together with ACES staff for a day of partnership and learning.
Forming partnerships between Fort Lee personnel and the surrounding community professionals helps to ensure that Civilians, Soldiers and Family members have safe, quality food on or off of the installation.
In an opening statement, Lt. Col. Rob Barnes, ACES director, welcomed the group and thanked them for all that they do for the Fort Lee community. ACES staff from the Quality Assurance Division joined CASA members to promote and foster a unified front toward protecting national food supplies through the sharing of information and ideas.
The conference included briefings from ACES QUAD staff, tours of the advanced individual training food service specialist and advance course labs and the field operations training branch. The highlight of the day occurred when the CASA members ate a “Soldier” lunch from a Mobile Kitchen Trailer.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Ronald Biddle, ACES office of food safety and defense, explained that the goal of the conference was “to encourage and promote improved communications between ACES and local food safety regulatory agencies.”
“We do not live in a closed community here at Fort Lee. What occurs off post may have a direct impact on our installation. Open lines of communication are key to ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply,” Biddle said.
Participants expressed their liking and gratitude for the event, and Barnes said he plans to make it bigger and better next year.