USDA-FSIS Develops Food Safety Research Priorities

USDA-FSIS Develops Food Safety Research Priorities

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has developed a listing of the top food safety research areas of interest.

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December 19, 2017
Research & Trends

The USDA 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 the three goals of the FSIS 2017-2021 Strategic Plan:

1. Prevent Foodborne Illness and Protect Public Health

2. Modernize Inspection Systems, Policies, and the Use of Scientific Approaches

3. 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 (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 (john.johnston@fsis.usda.gov) or at (202) 365-7175 with questions. We also welcome information about research on related topics not currently listed here.

(Asterisks indicate most recently updated information.)

Research Priorities are listed below (click here to visit the USDA-FSIS page with For More Information links to each of the below topics).

  • Investigate and/or develop emerging screening technologies to reduce time for detection.
  • Investigate and/or develop emerging screening technologies for enhanced subtype/virulence characterization of pathogens.
  • 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).
  • Develop rapid methods for screening of "high-risk" compounds such as environmental contaminants.
  • Develop or refine testing methods for quantifying target pathogens in meat, poultry and egg products.
  • Identify and evaluate alternative approaches to N60 sampling.
  • Develop Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models to estimate chemical concentrations in beef, pork and chicken tissues.
  • Identify and/or develop emerging technologies for real-time testing for higher levels of contamination prior to slaughter.
  • Develop non-targeted methods to detect chemical contaminants in FSIS regulated products.
  • Further develop the use of indicator/surrogate organisms in processing establishments to validate and monitor intervention effectiveness.
  • Evaluate the potential effectiveness of pre-harvest interventions on finished products.
  • Develop a screen for the detection of hormone and hormone-like compounds.
  • Determine retail use statistics/practices which could contribute chemicals (insecticide, rodenticide, fungicide, antimicrobial) or pathogens to FSIS regulated products.
  • Determine the magnitude and significance of migration of chemicals (e.g., endocrine disruptors) from packaging into FSIS regulated products.
  • Determine the effectiveness of serial and/or simultaneous application of more than one pre-harvest and/or post-harvest intervention as a control strategy.*
  • Conduct ex post evaluation of regulatory initiatives.
  • Determine the presence and contributing factors for antimicrobial resistant strains in poultry and cattle.
  • Develop or refine cooking and cooling models.
  • Develop or refine dose-response curves for pathogens (including specific subtypes) of interest.
  • Determine (validate) the effectiveness (log-reduction) of interventions used by industry to reduce levels of pathogens on FSIS regulated products.