The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is urging for breakthrough ideas to improve food safety technology. They want to ideas on how the administrative officials can find disease-causing pathogens in food, especially Salmonella in fresh produce. This initiative began with the 2014 Food Safety Challenge, which came out of the America COMPETES Reauthorisation Act of 2010. This provided grants to all the federal agencies, so that they can hold competitions to spur development in this area – to create innovative plans, to solve these tough issues and advance towards their goal. The total prise pool is $500,000.
Currently, the main concept the FDA is looking for is to find a way to detect Salmonella in fresh produce (which is a must for a company to enter the competition) and it is also encouraged that the testing could also provide a way to detect other pathogens. The competition was launched on the 23rd of September, 2014 and encourages food safety experts such as scientists, academics, entrepreneurs, and innovators, as well as those new to the field to participate. There will be a panel of food safety and pathogen detection experts from the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will determine the winner.
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