Food Safety Research Priorities & Studies
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has developed a listing of the top food safety research areas of interest. FSIS has also identified key data gaps and laboratory methods that are needed to fulfill our mission.
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 the three goals of the FSIS Strategic Plan:
- Prevent Foodborne Illness and Protect Public Health
- Modernize Inspection Systems, Policies, and the Use of Scientific Approaches
- Achieve Operational Excellence
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 (https://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. Isabel Walls by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or at (202) 924-1420 and Dr. John Hicks by e-mail (email@example.com) or at (301) 504-0840 with questions. We also welcome information about research on related topics not currently listed here.
Chemicals of Potential Concern
- Develop or improve rapid methods for screening chemical compounds in FSIS regulated products
- Develop models to estimate chemical residue concentrations in beef, pork, and chicken tissues
- Determine the magnitude and significance of migration of chemicals (e.g., endocrine disruptors) from packaging into FSIS regulated products
- Identify and/or develop and evaluate the effectiveness of pre- and post-harvest interventions to reduce levels of chemical hazards in FSIS regulated products
- Identify and evaluate improved sampling methods to ensure statistically relevant samples are collected in the most appropriate manner
- Develop or refine technologies to reduce pathogen detection time, including improved sample preparation methods
- Develop or refine technologies to detect multiple pathogens from a single sample of an FSIS regulated product
- Develop or refine testing methods for quantifying pathogens in meat, poultry, and egg products
- Develop bioinformatic methods for identifying epidemiologically meaningful patterns in whole genome sequence data
- Develop or refine technologies for virulence/ pathogenicity characterization of pathogens
- Improve our understanding of antimicrobial resistance in pathogens in poultry and cattle
- Develop or refine cooking and cooling models for pathogens in foods
- Determine the contribution of endogenous extra-intestinal sources of pathogens (e.g., lymph nodes) to contamination of FSIS-regulated products
- Evolution and Ecology of Foodborne Pathogens
- Identify and/or develop and evaluate the effectiveness of pre- and post-harvest interventions to reduce levels of pathogens in FSIS regulated products
- Evaluate the impact of regulatory initiatives on food contamination
- Identify consumer or retail practices which compromise the safety of FSIS regulated products
- Generate data to develop public education and outreach to improve food-handling practices
- Identify or develop approaches to facilitate humane handling of FSIS regulated livestock
- Develop improved techniques for species identity in raw and processed products
1. Risk assessments for poultry are being developed. Additional data would be useful.
Laboratory Detection Methods
|4. A study is underway at USDA's Agriculture Research Service in support of this project.|
Screening/ Detection Methods
Screening/ Detection/ Enumeration Methods
1. Preharvest Interventions