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Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)

The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, known as CFSAN, is one of six product-oriented centers, in addition to a nationwide field force, that carry out the mission of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA is a scientific regulatory agency responsible for the safety of the nation's domestically produced and imported foods, cosmetics, drugs, biologics, medical devices, and radiological products.

The Center provides services to consumers, domestic and foreign industry and other outside groups regarding field programs; agency administrative tasks; scientific analysis and support; and policy, planning and handling of critical issues related to food and cosmetics. Most Center staff members work in the Center's headquarters in College Park, Maryland. The Center also operates research facilities in Laurel, Maryland, Bedford, IL, and in Dauphin Island, Alabama. 

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Meet the Center Director

Donald A. Prater, D.V.M.
Acting Director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

Donald Prater

Dr. Donald A. Prater is Acting Director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, He previously was Acting Director of the FDA’s Office of Food Policy and Response (OFPR). In 2019, he was named the Associate Commissioner for Imported Food Safety in OFPR, providing direction to and management of imported food safety programs. In addition, he served as a senior scientific advisor and technical expert on matters related to human and animal food safety and the implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.

Before joining OFPR, Dr. Prater was the Assistant Commissioner for Food Safety Integration, serving as the principal spokesperson on behalf of the FDA’s Foods and Veterinary Medicine Program for discussions regarding imports with external stakeholders, including foreign governments, as well as being responsible for import-related strategic resource planning activities. Earlier in his FDA tenure, Dr. Prater was Director of the FDA’s Europe Office in Brussels, Belgium and the Department of Health and Human Services Country Representative to the European Union.

Dr. Prater received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (government and corporate track) in 1996. Following a three-year residency in anatomic pathology, he joined the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) in 1999 as a Veterinary Medical Officer. There he served in several roles including leader of the Aquaculture Drugs Team, CVM Pathologist, and Director of the Division of Scientific Support.

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