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Food Safety & Biosecurity

Food Biosecurity

Food biosecurity has become a high-priority area in food safety, in parallel with other bio-terrorism and agro-terrorism issues. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have called for proposals for risk assessments and for implementation of plans at the food-processing level. Food biosecurity at the preharvest level often overlaps with general biosecurity plans to prevent the introduction of new animal diseases into the population. NIFA is taking steps to help address three special biosecurity areas:

  • food safety risk assessment
  • security plans at the food-processing level, and
  • facilitating communications.

In 2005, NIFA’ National Integrated Food Safety Initiative (NIFSI) program funded two related Special Emphasis Grants:

NIFA supported a research colloquium by the American Society for Microbiology in the fall of 2003 called “Preharvest Food Safety and Security.” In addition, there were two grants dealing with food biosecurity:

  • Food Safety Risk Assessment at North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND
  • Validation of Spore Surrogates to Assure Safety and Security of Processed Foods at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ.

There were no NIFSI food biosecurity grants awarded in 2004. Information on the 2006 NIFSI grants will be announced at a later date.

As funding becomes available, more research and education programs will be developed.


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