Food Safety Research Priorities
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has developed a listing of the top food safety research areas of interest.
While FSIS is not a research funding organization, it recognizes the importance of keeping abreast of the latest scientific endeavors as well as its role in promoting research in areas important to the FSIS mission. This listing supports three of the FSIS 2011-2016 Strategic Plan goals:
- Strengthen collaboration among internal and external stakeholders to prevent foodborne illness;
- Effectively use science to understand foodborne illness and emerging trends; and
- Implement effective policies to respond to existing and emerging risks.
These priorities are presented as suggestions for researchers interested in pursuing food safety objectives that are relevant to FSIS regulated products. This list of research areas of interest may be useful to researchers who are preparing grants for submission to agencies that fund food safety research (e.g., USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (http://www.nifa.usda.gov), National Institutes of Health (http://www.nih.gov), Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov)), or researchers with resources to conduct such research.
While FSIS is extremely interested in these research areas, this interest does not imply that the data and/or technologies generated by this research will be endorsed by FSIS.
This list represents FSIS' current assessment of priority research that will help further its public health mission; the list will be updated biannually. We encourage researchers to contact Dr. John Johnston by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or at (202) 365-7175 with questions. We also welcome information about research on related topics not currently listed here.
Select "For More Information" for any of the topics listed below for a more detailed description and suggested research studies.
(Asterisks indicate most recently update information.)
- Investigate and/or develop emerging screening technologies to reduce time for detection. | For More Information*
- Investigate and/or develop emerging screening technologies for enhanced subtype/virulence characterization of pathogens. | For More Information
- Investigate and/or develop emerging screening technologies to provide multi-analyte detection from a single analytical sample portion. | For More Information
- Investigate and/or develop emerging screening technologies which are applicable to FSIS regulated products (meat, poultry, egg products and foods containing these products). | For More Information
- Develop rapid methods for screening of "high-risk" compounds such as environmental contaminants. | For More Information
- Develop or refine testing methods for quantifying target pathogens in meat, poultry and egg products. | For More Information
- Identify and evaluate alternative approaches to N60 sampling. | For More Information
- Develop Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models to estimate chemical concentrations in beef, pork and chicken tissues. | For More Information
- Identify and/or develop emerging technologies for real-time testing for higher levels of contamination prior to slaughter. | For More Information
- Develop non-targeted methods to detect chemical contaminants in FSIS regulated products. | For More Information
- Further develop the use of indicator/surrogate organisms in processing establishments to validate and monitor intervention effectiveness. | For More Information
- Evaluate the potential effectiveness of pre-harvest interventions on finished products. | For More Information
- Develop a screen for the detection of hormone and hormone-like compounds. | For More Information
- Determine retail use statistics/practices which could contribute chemicals (insecticide, rodenticide, fungicide, antimicrobial) or pathogens to FSIS regulated products. | For More Information
- Determine the magnitude and significance of migration of chemicals (e.g., endocrine disruptors) from packaging into FSIS regulated products. | For More Information
- Determine the effectiveness of parallel and/or simultaneous application of more than one pre-harvest and/or post-harvest intervention as a control strategy. | For More Information
- Conduct ex post evaluation of regulatory initiatives. | For More Information
- Determine the presence and contributing factors for antimicrobial resistant strains in poultry and cattle. | For More Information
- Develop or refine cooking and cooling models. | For More Information
- Develop or refine dose-response curves for pathogens (including specific subtypes) of interest. | For More Information
- Determine (validate) the effectiveness (log-reduction) of interventions used by industry to reduce levels of pathogens on FSIS regulated products.* | For More Information
- Identify consumer practices which compromise the safety of FSIS regulated products and/or generate data to develop public education and outreach to improve food-handling practices. | For More Information
- Identify and/or develop pre- and post-harvest interventions to reduce levels of pathogens and chemical hazards for each class of veal (bob veal, non-formula-fed, formula-fed, and heavy calves). | For More Information
- Identify unique attributes of pathogen outbreak strains that may increase the probability of foodborne illness.* | For More Information