ATLANTA – Federal funding gaps have stalled progress on the Center for Disease Control's five Integrated Food Safety Centers of Excellence.

The 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act charges CDC with designating the centers at five state health departments. The purpose of the centers is to respond to foodborne disease outbreaks and to provide resources to public health professionals at state, local and regional levels. The CDC had formed a working group to guide the establishment of these centers, according to a report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy (CIDRAP). However, in a recent memo to the working group, CDC said even a slight increase in food-safety funding would not be enough to fund the five centers, which CDC estimates will cost roughly $2.75 million.

CDC added that the agency would continue work on other food-safety initiatives, including strengthening and modernizing PulseNet, developing foodborne illness outbreak training materials and developing standardized questionnaires for use in investigations.