Food Safety Magazine

News | April 24, 2014

USDA-NIFA Awards $24 Million in Food Safety Research Grants

By Staff

USDA-NIFA Awards $24 Million in Food Safety Research Grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced that 35 research projects have been selected for funding totaling nearly $24 million to improve food safety by helping control microbial and chemical contamination in various foods.

“Foodborne illness affects approximately one in six Americans each year, making USDA’s investment in food safety science a high priority that will have direct impact on thousands of lives,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “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.”

NIFA made the awards through its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s (AFRI) Food Safety program. The program’s goal is to protect consumers from microbial and chemical contaminants that may occur in the food chain, from production to consumption. This year, AFRI’s Food Safety program focused on developing effective mitigation strategies for antimicrobial resistance, understanding the physical and molecular mechanisms of food contamination, and improving the safety of fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. In addition, the program addressed critical and emerging food safety hazards to help prevent contamination and outbreaks.

The AFRI Food Safety program comprises four sub-programs. The following projects have been selected for awards in each sub-program:

Addressing Critical and Emerging Food Safety Issues

    University of Georgia, Athens, GA, $298,799
    Iowa State University, Ames, IA, $298,686
    Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, $299,999
    Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, $299,999
    University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, $299,989
    Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, $299,955

Effective Mitigation Strategies for Antimicrobial Resistance

    University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, $29,872
    Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, $800,000
    Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, $799,958

Improving the Safety of Fresh and Fresh-Cut Produce

    University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, $414,185
    Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, $424,955
    University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, $424,930
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, $423,204
    Iowa State University, Ames, IA, $424,846
    Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY, $209,928
    University of Maryland, College Park, MD, $424,999
    Lincoln University, Jefferson City, MO, $147,110
    North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, $147,603
    University of Houston, Houston, TX, $304,163
    University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, $424,983

Physical and Molecular Mechanisms of Food Contamination

    University of California, Davis, CA, $499,921
    University of California, Davis, CA, $499,946
    University of Delaware, Newark, DE, $499,802
    Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA, $500,000
    Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA, $499,953
    University of Georgia, Athens, GA, $499,848
    University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, $498,413
    Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL, $499,429
    University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, $499,941
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, $495,950
    Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, $380,121
    North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC, $497,723
    Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, $499,568
    Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, $500,000
    Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, $27,500

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and Extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit www.nifa.usda.gov.