Food Safety

  • Two hands picking tomatoes from a vine with a basket of vegetables on the ground

Food Safety

* Image courtesy of Getty Images

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

Red tomatoes on a vine
Rotten Tomatoes?

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

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A thermometer checking the temperature of a plant burger
Should Plant-Based Meats Be Cooked?

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

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Taking a Holistic Approach to Food Safety

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

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A knife slicing raw chicken
Predicting Salmonella Outbreaks Before They Occur

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

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Feeding the Antibiotics Debate

ARS scientists researched whether raising beef cattle without antibiotics would reduce antimicrobial resistance levels.

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A strawberry on a vine
Let the Sun Shine In

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

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A bowl of honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon balls.
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.

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Freshly harvested oysters
Safer Oysters

Discover how ARS researchers are helping to make oysters safer to eat.

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Mind Your Meatballs

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

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A scientist holding a tray of beef
Beefing Up E. Coli Detection

To help keep our food safe to eat, ARS scientists have developed new methods to test beef for the presence of harmful bacteria.

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Food technologist Yaguang Luo prepares to seal romaine lettuce.
Better Bagged Leafy Greens

ARS researcher Yaguang Luo is keeping bagged leafy greens safe and nutritious for human consumption.

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A bowl of salad--fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and green peppers surround the bowl
Taking A World View of Food Safety

Because safe food is a global issue, ARS's efforts involve both national and international collaborations.

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A hand holding an egg being candled
The Egg-Zact Way To Store Eggs

It is a question anyone who has ever eaten or cooked an egg might want to ask: How should we store them?

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Safeguarding Food with a New Test Kit

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

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A partial map of ARS research locations
Check out Our Cool Map

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

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