Fresh Express will provide up to $2 million to finance research to help the fresh-cut produce industry prevent contamination by the deadly Escherichia coli 0157:H7 pathogen.
An independent scientific advisory panel of six food safety experts from federal and state food safety-related agencies and academia has been meeting since May 2006 to develop research priorities related to the source, mode of action, and life cycle of E coli 0157:H7 and the contamination of lettuce and leafy greens. The panel is chaired by Dr Michael T Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota.
According to Osterholm, the group evaluated the body of knowledge relating to E coli 0157:H7 contamination in fresh produce and collaborated on the most critical research gaps in fresh produce contamination ranging from growing and harvesting to cooling, transporting, processing, and packaging.
Financing is available, and all proposals will be reviewed against guidelines established by this panel. Questions about proposal submission can be addressed to Osterholm by phoning 612-626-6770 or e-mailing [email protected].