January 22, 2014

$3M in Funds Available to Answer Produce Food Safety Questions

The Center for Produce Safety has announced its 2014 request for food safety research proposals. The center and its public and industry research partners are making $3 million available to fund general and commodity-specific research aimed at addressing the fresh produce industry's food safety research needs.

Proposals are due by March 14, 2014, 5 p.m. PST, and should be submitted through the CPS Grant System website. All qualified research professionals are eligible to apply for CPS funding.

"This request for proposals builds on previously funded CPS research and provides a clear roadmap to generate the information needed to develop science and risk-based best practices and policies to enhance produce safety across the supply chain," said Dr. Jim Gorny, vice president of food safety and technology, Produce Marketing Association, and chair of the CPS Technical Committee. "I especially look forward to working with the numerous CPS partners in research as we review the proposals. Their active participation throughout the process has and continues to be critical in assuring the success of CPS funded research."

The 2014 RFP seeks to fund both general produce food safety questions and commodity-specific questions. Core (general produce) research prioritiesendeavor to better understand risk potential and to develop more effective food safety management tools. Factors affecting human pathogen persistence, routes of produce contamination, agricultural water, and harvest and postharvest water are among the core research areas listed.

CPS and its partners sponsor research projects designed to fill basic knowledge gaps in specific areas of food safety practices for fruit, vegetable, and tree nut production, as well as harvest and post-harvest handling. One public partner is CDFA-Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Some commodity partners are:

  • Almond Board of California
  • California Cantaloupe Advisory Board
  • California Melon Research Board
  • California Leafy Greens Research Board
  • California Pistachio Research Board

CPS has compiled an impressive four-year body of work, awarding nearly $13.6 million and funding 85 one and two-year research projects at 27 universities and organizations.

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