Food safety research initiatives in the United States
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The SafePork conference series began in 1996 to bring together international researchers, industry, and government agencies to discuss current Salmonella research and identify research needs pertaining to both pig and pork production. In subsequent years topics of research presented at these conferences expanded to include other chemical and biological hazards to pig and pork production.
The CSREES supports food safety research and education through funds appropriated under several legislative authorities. The National Research Initiative (NRI) is the major peer-reviewed competitive grants program in support of agricultural research. Within the NRI, the "Ensuring Food Safety Program" supports research to increase understanding of disease-causing microorganisms and their products, naturally occurring toxicants, and drug residues which contaminate foods. The "Food Characterization, Process, and Product Research Program" supports research to increase the quality, utility, convenience, nutrient value, and safety of food products through innovative processing methods. The "Markets and Trade Program" has a component which supports research on the economics of food safety factors that affect competitiveness ofU.S. agricultural products (the benefits and costs of regulations, including Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points). The "Sustaining Animal Health and Well-Being Program" supports research on organisms such as E. coli and Salmonella spp.