NIFA’s Food Safety Program Helps Consumers Stay Safe | Instant News

Posted by Kellie Burdette, Senior Communications Manager, National Institute of Food and Agriculture at

Research and Science

23 Oct 2020

In FY20, NIFA invested a total of $ 40 million in grants and food safety programs. Photo by Getty Images

Do you remember the last time you got sick from eating something that “didn’t suit you?” It’s likely that you or someone you know has had food poisoning. This is no fun!

Unfortunately, the health impacts of foodborne illness in the United States are substantial. That Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year, about 1 in 6 Americans (48 million people) fall ill; 128,000 were hospitalized; and 3,000 died from foodborne illness.

The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) seeks to reduce the incidence of foodborne diseases and provide a safer food supply by supporting research, education, and extension activities that address current food safety priorities. NIFA supports food safety programs that improve the safety and quality of US food supplies for healthy populations and improve quality of life. Here’s how NIFA helps keep American consumers safe:

  • NIFA Food Safety Outreach Competitive Grants Program provide funds for food safety training and education for small and medium-sized producers and processors affected by the Food Safety Modernization Law. The Community Outreach Project supports the development of new food safety education and outreach programs in hard-to-reach local communities.
  • Investments in Research, Education and Food Safety Extension are carried out through Agricultural Research and Food Safety Initiatives (AFRI). AFRI is the nation’s leading competitive grant program for agricultural science. NIFA Award for research, education, and AFRI extension grants to enhance rural economies, increase food production, stimulate bioeconomics, reduce impacts of climate variability, address water availability issues, ensure food security and security, improve human nutrition, and train the next generation of agricultural workforce .
  • NIFA funds research on Antimicrobial resistance under the AFRI program. This is particularly important because the use and abuse of antimicrobial drugs has been linked to an accelerated emergence of drug-resistant microbial strains.
  • NIFA increases the network through Directory of Food Safety Specialists to facilitate communication among food safety professionals. You can use this directory to find contact information by state for food safety and nutrition education partners.

In FY20, NIFA invested a total of $ 40 million in grants and food safety programs. For more information on NIFA’s food safety programs and partnerships, visit

NIFA will continue to focus on food safety programs by supporting the various themes outlined in USDA Science Blueprint (PDF, 2.6 MB), which brings us closer to meeting the goals outlined in USDA Agricultural Innovation Agenda (PDF, 196 KB).

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