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Food Safety

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ARS Research Helps Keep Food Safe To Eat



The U.S. system for producing, processing, and distributing food is complex and extensive, and food can become contaminated in a variety of ways. Our food supply must be protected from pathogens, toxins, and chemicals that can harm us. ARS’s food safety program looks for ways to assess and control potentially harmful food contaminants. ARS conducts research and provides scientific information and technology to producers, manufacturers, regulatory agencies, and consumers to support their efforts to provide a secure, affordable, and safe supply of food, fiber, and industrial products. Here are just a few examples of the research that benefits you, the consumer.

In This Section
Salmonella: A Grand Challenge for Food Safety

USDA is launching a "Grand Challenge" initiative to combat salmonella poisoning.

Innovations for Ready-to-Eat Foods

Scientists at ARS's Eastern Regional Research Center in PA have identified a method to improve the safety of ready-to-eat foods while minimizing quality losses.

Detecting Mercury in Our Food

Researchers here developed a dual-detection biosensor that is portable, enabling on-site testing of samples for mercury.

Rotten Tomatoes?

ARS researchers are breeding new lines of tomatoes that are resistant to anthracnose disease which causes tomato fruit rot.

Should Plant-Based Meats Be Cooked?

Guidelines for properly cooking meats are well documented, but what about for plant-based products?

Taking a Holistic Approach to Food Safety

ARS researchers are using puled light as part of their approach toward combating food pathogens and diseases.

Predicting Salmonella Outbreaks Before They Occur

ARS scientists developed a series of algorithms capable of effectively predicting the prevalence of Salmonella.

Feeding the Antibiotics Debate

ARS scientists researched whether raising beef cattle without antibiotics would reduce antimicrobial resistance levels. Learn what they discovered.

Let the Sun Shine In

Learn how ARS researchers are turning to the sun to help fight a strawberry fungus.

Steaming Cleaning Melons?

Consumers aren’t likely to clean their cantaloupes with a steam cleaner, but an ARS scientist did just that. Find out why.

Safer Oysters

ARS researchers help make oysters safer.

Mind Your Meatballs

ARS study shows safest ways to cook meatballs to minimize health risks from Escherichia coli.

Beefing Up E. Coli Detection

ARS scientists developed a new system for testing beef during processing.

Better Bagged Leafy Greens

ARS researchers are keeping bagged leafy greens safe and nutritious for your consumption.

Taking A World View of Food Safety

Learn how ARS researchers are working to keep food safe to eat.

The Egg-Zact Way To Store Eggs

Did you know the way eggs are stored depends on where they’re produced?

Safeguarding Food with a New Test Kit

ARS scientists are developing innovative methods to accurately detect mold contamination in crops and food.

Check out Our Cool Map

Use our interactive map to find out what revolutionary research is being conducted in your state.