ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is getting federal help to more quickly trace contaminated food to grocery stores and other distribution points.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration grants of $600,000 over three years will help the agriculture department quickly remove any contaminated food or recalled products from the marketplace.

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MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson says Minnesota is already a national leader in food safety and the grants will only enhance that. The MDA expects that its web-based technologies will improve the flow of information between the food industry and regulatory agencies.

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MDA Dairy and Food Division Director Heidi Kassenborg says every minute they can shave off the time it takes to trace contaminated products and get them off the shelves means fewer people will be getting sick.

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