The Center for Produce Safety at the University of California, Davis, has announced its 2013 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. (To read about the two new food safety rules proposed by FDA, click here.)
The Request for Proposals’ (RFP) general research priorities were identified in industry risk assessments and prioritized by the CPS Technical Committee, an independent advisory board that includes experts from industry, academia, government and nongovernmental organizations.
“This request for proposals builds upon the portfolio of research projects already funded by CPS as we seek to extend our understanding of food safety across the produce industry,” said Dr. Bob Whitaker, chief science and technology officer, Produce Marketing Association, and chair of the CPS Technical Committee. “I am particularly encouraged by the diverse collection of partners that have chosen to participate in this year’s request and look forward to working with them as we review proposals for funding.”
The 2013 RFP seeks to fund both general produce food safety questions and commodity-specific questions. Core (produce-general) research priorities endeavor to better understand risk potential and to develop more effective food safety management tools in the following areas:
● Compost, Soil Amendment Fertilizer Use, and Cultivation Practices
● Buffer Zones from Domestic Animals to Fruit and Vegetable Production
● Co-management of Food Safety and the Environment
● Agricultural Water
● Climate, Environment, and Production Practices
● Harvest and Cooling Practices
● Pathogen Transfer from Water during Postharvest Handling and Processing
● Pathogen Survival in the Postharvest Distribution Chain
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 postharvest handling. New partners include the National Mango Board, Australian produce industry, and the Western Center for Food Safety (an FDA Center of Excellence).
William Watson, executive director, National Mango Board stated, “The Center for Produce Safety has been a great partner when it comes to mango food safety. We look forward to a long-term relationship with CPS.” To date, CPS has compiled a four-year body of work, awarding nearly $10.6 million and funding 69 one and two-year research projects at 22 universities.
To view the full RFP, visit the CPS website at www.cps.ucdavis.edu. Proposals are due by March 28, 2013 and should be submitted through the CPS Grant System website at http://ucanr.org/cpsgrants/. All qualified research professionals are eligible to apply for CPS funding.