USDA awards $24 million in food safety grants
The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently announced it has funded almost $24 million for 35 research projects geared toward improving food safety.
NIFA awarded the funding through its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative's Food Safety program. "Our goal is to reduce the number of illnesses and protect the food supply through research, education, and extension efforts focused on all levels of the food chain—from farm to fork," said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy, PhD.
The largest awards—of about $800,000 each—went to Kansas State University and The Ohio State University for developing mitigation strategies for antimicrobial resistance.
In addition, 13 research centers received about $500,000 for investigating the physical and molecular mechanisms of foodborne pathogens. Seven groups received more than $400,000 and four centers lesser amounts to study produce safety, and six programs were awarded about $300,000 to address "critical and emerging food safety issues."
Apr 24 USDA press release
Group publishes updated food outbreak guidelines
The US Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR) has updated its Guidelines for Foodborne Disease Outbreak Response, according to CIFOR.
The second edition of the guidelines covers the overall approach to foodborne disease outbreaks, including preparation, detection, investigation, control, and follow-up, as well as the roles of all key organizations, the group said on its Web site. The guidelines are targeted to local, state, and federal agencies responsible for preventing and managing foodborne outbreaks, according to CIFOR, which is a multidisciplinary working group supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.
Changes introduced since the first edition in 2009 include updates to include new Food Safety Modernization Act rules, new data on model practices, and updated statistics, CIFOR said.
The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists and the National Association of County and City Health Officials co-chair CIFOR.
CIFOR guidelines landing page