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Sources: Justin Kastner, 785-532-4820,;
and Doug Powell, 785-317-0560,
News release prepared by: Kristin Hodges, 785-532-6415,

Monday, July 20, 2009

JULY 23-AUG. 4

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University experts in food safety and security will train special visitors from Egypt on topics related to food safety policies.

K-State's Doug Powell, associate professor of food safety, and Justin Kastner, assistant professor of food safety and security, both in the department of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine, will train five U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service Cochran Fellows visiting from Egypt.

The K-State researchers will provide instruction from July 23 to Aug. 4 through lectures and with field trips in the Manhattan area. The sessions will cover topics such as food safety-related legislation, foodborne illness prevention, international regulations and import-export controls.

"Food-borne illness is an international issue," Powell said. "I expect to learn as much from the Cochran Fellows as whatever I can provide."

The training sessions will take place at the K-State Alumni Center, and the field trips will include tours of facilities and food processing plants at K-State and in northeast Kansas. Kastner said the training is built on a similar training last summer at K-State with Cochran Fellows from Thailand.

"We consider it a privilege to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cochran program," Kastner said. "We remain committed to helping other countries build capacity in the important areas of food safety, food security and trade-policy development."

Also participating are Megan Hardigree, research assistant with the One Health Kansas Program, and Edward Nyambok, research assistant with K-State's Frontier Program, an interdisciplinary program for the historical studies of border security, food security and trade policy.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service administers the Cochran Fellowship Program. It is U.S.-based and provides agricultural training opportunities for senior and mid-level specialists and administrators. Countries must be classified as middle-income, an emerging democracy or an emerging market to be eligible.