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USDA Updates Food Safety Research Priorities

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has updated research priorities relevant to FSIS regulated products. The list provides useful guidance for grant preparation to agencies that fund food safety research, such as the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and for academic researchers and private foundations. 

Highlighted research topics include:

Development of non-culture based technology to differentiate infectious vs. non-viable agents
Investigate emerging screening technologies for multi-analyte detection from a single sample
Validation of FSIS Clostridium botulinum assay using the MAGPIX system by Luminex
Development of subtyping and characterization approaches of STEC strains useful for traceback
Screening technologies for detection of hormone and hormone-like compounds in food
Multilocus genotyping of Listeria monocytogenes to improve management strategies
Further develop subtyping methods for clonal Salmonella serovars
Rapid and efficient methods to quantify pathogens such as Salmonella and pathogenic E. coli
Expand validated detection methods to include challenging matrices
Develop rapid methods for screening high-risk environmental contaminants in food
Refine or develop testing methods for quantifying target pathogens in food
Emerging technologies for real-time testing for pathogens prior to slaughter
Studies identifying the magnitude and significance of migration of chemical disrupters from packaging to food
Refine dose-response curves for pathogens and subtypes of interest 

“Our goal is to effectively use science to understand foodborne illness and emerging trends,” said USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen. “External research is critical to our public health mission and ultimately serves as another tool at our disposal to protect the food supply for over 300 million Americans.” 

For a complete list visit the USDA FSIS website: Food Safety Research Priorities. 

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