The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded 17 grants to improve the safety of the food supply in the United States through research, education and extension. USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded the grants—totaling $10.4 million—to universities in 13 states to help address a broad spectrum of food safety issues.
North Carolina State University was awarded $541,621. N.C. State's project—conducted in collaboration with Alabama State University—will identify and characterize the routes and mechanisms of transmission of campylobacter to turkeys.
"With millions of Americans contracting food-borne illnesses each year, USDA is committed to supporting research that improves the safety of our nation's food supply," Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said. "Primarily, we expect that the research and education spurred by these grants will find solutions to some pressing food safety issues. Additionally, we want to help American consumers, restaurant employees and teachers put new food safety principles into practice. Ensuring the safety of food is a top priority for USDA, and we will continue to work with our public and private sector partners on developing solutions to decrease potential risks."
NIFA made the awards through the National Integrated Food Safety Initiative, which addresses a broad spectrum of food safety concerns, from on-farm production, post-harvest processing and distribution to food selection, preparation and consumption. Focused on integrated approaches to food safety, NIFSI projects combine research at colleges and universities, education in the classroom, and outreach to a variety of groups, including consumers, foodservice workers, teachers, federal agencies and farmers.
In fiscal year 2011, NIFA awarded $10.4 million to 17 projects in 13 states:
• Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Ala., $100,000
• University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz., $542,969
• Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Ga., $100,000
• University of Georgia, Athens, Ga., $535,725
• University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass., $424,878
• Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., $542,824
• Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., $543,000
• Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., $1,809,934
• North Carolina State University, Raleigh., N.C., $541,621
• Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, $1,864,665
• Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla., $543,000
• Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pa., $542,607
• Clemson University, Clemson, S.C., $542,999
• Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tenn., $100,000
• University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn., $542,977
• Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, $540,326
• University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis., $541,313
A full list of awardees and their projects can be found online at: www.nifa.usda.gov/newsroom/news/2011news/nifsi_awards.html.
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. More information is at www.nifa.usda.gov.