Tennessee is one of five states to receive a federal grant to establish an Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence.
The center will be located at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and operated in cooperation with the state Health Department.
According to the department, the new center will allow Tennessee to improve food safety and its response to outbreaks of foodborne illness.
The effort is funded by a $200,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner said in a statement that the award recognizes the good work the state is doing to protect public health. That includes outbreak investigations and more than 70,000 annual inspections of food service facilities.
Each year, roughly 48 million Americans get sick from foodborne illnesses and 3,000 die.