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USDA Awards 17 Research Grants to Improve Food Safety

Media Contact: Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2012—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 17 research projects totaling nearly $15 million that aim to improve food safety by helping control microbial and chemical contamination in various foods.

“USDA is committed to supporting agricultural research that improves food safety,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “In addition to producing new knowledge about food-borne pathogens, these grants include extension and education programs to inform food service workers and consumers about proper food handling procedures.”

NIFA made the awards through the 2011 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 during all stages of the food chain, from production to consumption. This year, AFRI’s Food Safety program focused on control and prevention of Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry flocks and poultry products, including eggs. In addition, the program addressed critical and emerging food safety hazards to help prevent contamination and outbreaks.

The following projects have been selected for awards:

  • University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz. $2,449,405
  • Delaware State University, Dover, Del. $149,874
  • University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. $499,998
  • Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Ill. $499,048
  • University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind. $500,000
  • Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa $2,499,558
  • Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa $499,999
  • University of Maine, Orono, Maine $150,000.
  • University of Maryland, College Park, Md. $495,856
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich. $499,860
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich. $496,514.
  • University of Minnesota, St Paul, Minn. $498,744
  • Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. $499,841
  • North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C. $2,500,000
  • North Dakota State University, Fargo, N.D. $14,937
  • Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tenn. $2,446,616
  • West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas $148,999


AFRI is NIFA’s flagship competitive grants program and was established under the 2008 Farm Bill. The five AFRI challenge areas – food safety, global food security, childhood obesity prevention, sustainable bioenergy and climate adaptation - advance fundamental sciences and deliver science-based knowledge to people, allowing them to make informed practical decisions.

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


USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).