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NEWS RELEASE

USDA Awards More Than $12 Million in Integrated Food Safety Grants

Contact:
Alisa Harrison (202) 720-4623
Marti Asner (202) 720-8188

Printable version

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio, Aug. 12, 2004-Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman today announced that more than $12 million has been awarded to 19 colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and its territories through the National Integrated Food Safety Initiative (NIFSI).

"The selection of these projects supports the Bush Administration's efforts to enhance the protection and safety of agriculture and the food supply," said Veneman during a visit here to dedicate a National 4-H Monument where she discussed the importance of today's youth choosing careers in food and agriculture fields, including the areas of research. "Targeted research is one of several key initiatives we are implementing to enhance food safety and improve food inspection systems."

These projects were selected for funding under USDA's unified food safety research agenda announced November 2003, to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of food safety programs. The unified agenda prioritizes research needs and maximizes use of available resources and involves coordination among the Food Safety and Inspection Service, (FSIS) the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES). FSIS is a public health regulatory agency that protects consumers by ensuring that meat, poultry and egg products are safe, wholesome and accurately labeled. FSIS does not conduct its own research. Rather, the Agency identifies research necessary to fulfill its public health mission. The Agricultural Research Service is USDA's chief in-house scientific research agency and the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service is USDA's chief research funding agency.

The purpose of the NIFSI, which is managed by CSREES, is to support competitive projects that address priority issues in food safety that are best solved using an integrated approach. These projects address a broad spectrum of food safety concerns from on-farm production, post-harvest processing and distribution, to food selection, preparation and consumption. The grants make sure that food safety information is passed on to people who operate various parts of the food chain.

Twenty-six grants have been awarded for Fiscal Year 2004. Each year NIFSI awards these funds to faculty at land-grant and non-land grant colleges and universities to ensure that valuable research, education and extension knowledge is transferred to teachers, scientists, health professionals, researchers, farmers, food processors, foodservice workers, consumers and all others making crucial decisions about the safety of the U.S. food supply. An average of approximately $630,000 was awarded to each university to support integrated food safety projects.

Learn more about the integrated food safety program on theCSREES Web site.

The Fiscal Year 2004 awards are as follows:

ARIZONA

To the University of Arizona, $414,344, for the Assessment of Perchlorate Content and Risks of Food Crops Irrigated with Colorado River Water

CALIFORNIA

To the University of California, Davis, $600,000, Reducing the Use of Antibiotics and the Incidence of Antibiotic Resistance on Calf Ranches

University of California, Davis, $156,886, Enhancing the Microbial Safety of Fresh and Fresh-Cut Melons

COLORADO

To Colorado State University, $489,527, Effect of Transportation and Lairage on E. coli O157 and Salmonella spp. On Beef Cattle

Colorado State University, $597,481, Listeria Monocytogenes in Ready-to-Eat Meat Products: Risks, Controls, and Education for Prevention

DELAWARE

To University of Delaware, $450,205, Inactivation of Viruses by Pressure in Ready-to-Eat Food Products

FLORIDA To University of Florida, $261,055, Validation of Tanker Truck Sanitation Regimes as Related to the Secure Transportation of Liquid Foods

Florida International University, $599,557, Interactive Computer Food Safety Education Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program Clients

GEORGIA

To University of Georgia, $600,000, Microbiological Safety of Composting Process as Animal Manure Treatment

University of Georgia, $316,667, Improving the Efficacy of Sanitizers on Fresh Produce and Produce Processing Surfaces Using Electrostatic Sprays

GUAM

To University of Guam, $386,701, Food Safety Education and Traditional Food "Kelaguen" Modification for Consumers and Children in the U.S. Territory of Guam

INDIANA

To Purdue University, $599,790, Improving the Safety of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables with Chlorine Dioxide Gas Using a Miniaturized Industrial-Sized Tunnel System

IOWA

To Iowa State University, $599,126, Southeast Iowa's Food Safety and Animal Handling Procedures for Meat Processors and Livestock Producers

KANSAS

To Kansas State University, $482,763, Improving Food Safety Practices of Restaurant Employees Using the Theory of Planned Behavior

MARYLAND

To University of Maryland School of Medicine, $600,000, Development of Computer Models for Ranking the Public Health Impact of Foodborne Hazards

NEBRASKA

To University of Nebraska, $599,732, Validating and Implementing Listeria Monocytogenes Controls in Ready-to-Eat Meat Products Produced by Rural Meat and Poultry Operations in the Great Plains

University of Nebraska, $599,916, HACCP Assistance of Small and Very Small Processors with Development and Validation of Safe Meat Chilling Processes

NEW YORK

To Cornell University, $599,823, Computer-Aided Food Safety Engineering

Cornell University, $599,924, Good Agricultural Practices Network for Education and Training

OHIO

To Ohio State University, $436,189, Safety of Food Processed by Four Alternative Processing Technologies

Ohio State University, $599,996, Agricultural Ceftiofur Use and the Dissemination of Third Generation Cephalosporin Resistance Genetics of Public Health Concern

OREGON

To Oregon State University, $453,915, Characterization of the Cadmium Health Risk, Concentrations and Ways to Minimize Cadmium Residues in Shellfish

SOUTH CAROLINA

To Clemson University, $33,150, Food Safety from the Surface Up: A Conference

TENNESSEE

To Tennessee State University, $597,890, Characterizing Consumer Handling, Storage, and Use of Product Labels and Dates to Develop Risk Communication Messages for Ready-to-Eat Foods

TEXAS

To Texas A&M University, $328,357, Improving Safety of Complex Food Items Using Electron Beam Technology

WISCONSIN

To University of Wisconsin, $600,000, HACCP Assistance for Small and Very Small Meat Processors: Challenge Studies and Predictive Modeling for Validation of Critical Limits