USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced yesterday that it has recently updated its research priorities with the intent to spur targeted public and private research in food safety and public health.  The agency’s priorities are presented as suggestions for researchers interested in pursuing food safety objectives that are relevant to FSIS regulated products.  The complete list of the agency’s  research priorities are available here.

This list provides useful guidance to researchers that are preparing grants for submission to agencies that fund food safety research, such as USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, scientific academies, and private foundations.  The list also provides suggestions for academic faculty and students that are looking for relevant food safety research topics.

FSIS identified official agency research priorities for the first time in its history in December 2011, as an outgrowth of the agency’s internal discussions and feedback from stakeholders and research organizations.  This week’s announcement, according to USDA, marked the latest significant public health measure FSIS has put in place during this administration to safeguard the food supply, prevent foodborne illness, and improve consumers’ knowledge about the food they eat.