USDA awards grants for research on food safety

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The Department of Agriculture has awarded more than $12 million in grants to universities to advance the National Integrated Food Safety Initiative.

The grants promote food safety by funding applied research, classroom education, and outreach to consumers and industry. Among the recipients are veterinarians and researchers at departments of veterinary microbiology.

Dr. Mo D. Salman at Colorado State University's Department of Clinical Sciences received $354,303 for his project "Compliance and Training for Specified Risk Material Removal in Beef Meat Products." The project will evaluate the current level of compliance for removal of specified risk material from beef meat products. The project will also develop interactive multimedia training modules, with training sessions throughout the country.

Lynn A. Joens at the University of Arizona's Department of Veterinary Science and Microbiology received $600,000 for the project "Biofilm production and the colonization of broiler chickens with Campylobacter jejuni." The project will evaluate recent work that demonstrated the presence of the bacteria on the nipple drinkers of poultry houses.

Dr. Qijing Zhang at Iowa State University's Department of Veterinary Microbiology received $599,999 for the project "Incidence and ecology of macrolide-resistant Campylobacter in chickens and turkeys." Animal producers use macrolide antibiotics, including erythromycin, for therapy and growth promotion. The project will investigate the impact of macrolide usage on the emergence and persistence of macrolide-resistant jejuni on poultry farms.

The USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service coordinates the annual NIFSI grant program. Faculty from all four-year colleges and universities may apply for up to $600,000 per grant.