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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center

Internet Helping Ensure Food Safety Statewide

LAS CRUCES -- When foodborne illnesses strike or food safety questions arise, experts across the state can use the internet to find answers.

The New Mexico Food Safety Network provides electronic mail connections between professionals in food safety education and food inspection and regulation.

Martin Sancho, a food scientist with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service, set up the system as a fast, simple and inexpensive way to share information about food safety.

The network could be particularly valuable during an outbreak of foodborne illness, he said.

"The Extension Service has offices in every New Mexico county, so if there is a news release coming from other states or countries, we could immediately communicate with every county and let them know there is a danger with a particular food product."

The network also provides a way for members to share information and discuss food safety issues.

In their first weeks online, the 34 subscribers have shared information about "Kombuckcha mushroom" tea, and sent messages about upcoming food safety conferences and workshops.

The network is currently signing up subscribers. Membership is open to professionals with food safety responsibilities, but not to the general public, Sancho said.

"We would like to have people from the state Environment Department, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and any of the inspection and regulation agencies in the state join the list," Sancho said. "We also welcome university faculty and all of our county Extension Service faculty."

For information about joining the network, call Sancho at (505) 646-1283.
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