The Center for Produce Safety and its partners plan to fund $3 million in food safety research this year.

Researchers can apply or view the annual request for proposals online. The application deadline is March 28.

In four years, the University of California, Davis-based center has awarded about $10.6 million for fresh produce safety research, funding 69 one- and two-year research projects at 22 universities. Projects can be viewed online.

They are intended to fill knowledge gaps in specific areas of food safety practices for fruit, vegetable, and tree nut production, as well as harvest and post-harvest handling. The resulting information can be general or commodity-specific.

Priorities include:


  • Buffer zones from domestic animals to fruit and vegetable production
  • Co-management of food safety and environment
  • Agricultural water
  • Climate, environment and production practices
  • Harvest and cooling practices
  • Pathogen transfer from water during postharvest handling and processing


“This request for proposals builds upon the portfolio of research projects already funded by CPS as we seek to extend our understanding of food safety across the produce industry,” Bob Whitaker, chief science and technology officer at the Produce Marketing Association and chair of the center’s technical committee, said in a news release.

New partners for the center include the National Mango Board, the Western Center for Food Safety and the Australian produce industry.

“The Center for Produce Safety has been a great partner when it comes to mango food safety,” William Watson, executive director of the Orlando, Fla.-based mango board, said in the release. “We look forward to a long-term relationship.”

The Australian partnership is based on funding from the University of Sydney and the Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand, and from the Australian government through Horticulture Australia Ltd. Information is online.