F.D.A. issues 'food safety challenge'

by Keith Nunes
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WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has issued a call for potential breakthrough ideas about how to address pathogens, especially Salmonella in fresh produce, in food.

The program offers $500,000 to anyone who can offer a concept to address the detection of Salmonella in minimally processed fresh produce. The agency said it would be a positive if the solution is able to address testing for microbial pathogens in other foods.

A panel of food safety and pathogen detection experts from the F.D.A., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will judge the submissions, determine finalists and select the winner.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the federal government to collaborate with outside experts to bring forth breakthrough ideas and technologies that can help ensure quicker detection of problems in our food supply and help prevent foodborne illnesses,” said Michael Taylor, the F.D.A.’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine.

Those interested in participating should submit concepts to the F.D.A. by Nov. 9. Up to five submitters will be selected to advance as finalists. Finalists will be awarded $20,000 and have the opportunity to be coached by F.D.A. subject matter experts who will help them develop the ideas before they present the refined concepts to the panel of judges.

To learn more about the rules of the contest and how to submit a concept, visit the web site: Food Safety Challenge.
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