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Mizzou Center

The Mizzou Center

We've brought Mizzou to greater Kansas City.

Located in Blue Springs, Mo., the Mizzou Center provides facilities and resources to help greater Kansas City area business leaders and community members forge connections with the University of Missouri, Missouri’s flagship land-grant public education and research institution.

Mizzou Center

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Londa Nwadike, New State Food Safety Specialist

Londa NwadikeHealthy eating doesn’t mean just eating the right foods. It also means choosing, storing and preparing foods to make sure your meals are safe as well as nourishing.

Helping consumers understand how to keep their food safe is the goal of Londa Nwadike, who became MU Extension’s new state food safety specialist in July. She has a joint appointment with Kansas State University Extension and divides her time between the Mizzou Center in Blue Springs and KSU’s Olathe campus. She is working with extension health and nutrition specialists in both states to develop programming and resources.

Nwadike was previously a food safety specialist for University of Vermont Extension, where she worked with producers, including makers of Vermont’s famous maple syrup. In Missouri and Kansas, her work will center mainly on the consumer side.

Every year, about one out of six Americans—almost 50 million people—becomes sick with foodborne illness, according to estimates by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and about 3,000 people die. Many of these cases are preventable, Nwadike says, and the consumers who buy and prepare food are the last line of defense against disease-causing microbes invading our meals.

Increased interest in home and community gardens, home food preservation and locally produced foods heightens the need for consumer awareness of food safety, she says. Her projects include educating consumers to be on the lookout for potential safety problems when shopping at farmers markets.

Nwadike grew up on a farm in South Dakota, where she was active in 4-H. She earned her master’s from KSU before completing a doctorate in public health from the University of Iowa. She and her husband, Candidus Nwadike, have a 19-month-old daughter and are expecting a second child in October.

Nwadike’s bi-state extension appointment gives her a lot of ground to cover, but she says she’s ready for the challenge. “While there are some differences, the issues are basically the same on both sides of the border,” she said.