The FDA says it’s looking for a chief outbreak director-a new position-to lead a 40-person team that deals with foodborne-illness outbreaks. The director also will decide whether a food recall is needed, a power granted to the agency by the new Food Safety Modernization Act.

The chief outbreak director, a new position being created by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Washington, D.C., will lead a 40-person team dedicated to dealing with foodborne-illness outbreaks and will report to deputy commissioner of food safety Michael Taylor, the agency says.

One of the key functions of the new role will be to decide whether it is necessary to order a food recall–a new authority granted to the FDA with the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act, which was signed into law at the beginning of the year.

Presently, FDA brings together people from different departments to respond to foodborne-illness outbreaks. The new multidisciplinary team will function as part of FDA and will work in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local public health authorities and the food industry.