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CPS Announces its 2019 Research Priorities and Request for Research Pre-Proposals

September 11, 2018

"2018 has been a difficult year for the food industry in the United States and around the world. To instill confidence in our consumers that we take seriously the safety of the food we provide, The Center for Produce Safety is funding solutions-oriented science and advancing practical knowledge as the best proactive response and measure of the industry's commitment to food safety."
- Dave Corsi, Chair, CPS Board of Directors

Woodland, California, September 11, 2018

The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) today announced its 2019 request for proposals on food safety research.  CPS and its public and industry research partners will fund general and commodity-specific research aimed at addressing the fresh produce industry's food safety research needs. Up to $3M will be made available to fund research projects. 

This year, in an effort to address current produce safety challenges, CPS will take a 2-step approach to the annual call for research. Today we are announcing our step 1 research needs in the following areas: Short-Term Projects with Direct Application to Industry Practices (Listeria monocytogenes in the Supply Chain, Animal Intrusion, and Postharvest Preventive Controls) and Fundamental Research and Limited Objective Proof-of-Concept Projects (Postharvest Interventions and Core Produce Safety Research Objectives).

Simultaneous to the current call for step 1 research, we will institute a separate or step 2 effort to bring together subject matter experts to identify research needs in the following areas: concentrated animal feeding operations, improved field and product sampling, and water quality controls. Subject matter experts from the produce industry and produce and animal research communities will be identified and brought together to discuss what is known in these areas today, identify knowledge gaps, and prioritize critical research needs. From this activity a second call for research will be generated and shared with the research community.

"The 2019 produce safety research objectives have been identified through solicitation of input from the produce industry as well as government and academic stakeholders. In addition, feedback from CPS Symposium participants and reviews of previously funded CPS grants and research outcomes were utilized to identify research objectives," stated Drew McDonald, chair, CPS Technical Committee. "We also took a serious look at the fresh produce food safety events that have occurred this year and identified gaps in our current knowledge."

"We encourage scientists that have an interest in partnering with CPS to contact us, ask questions about the proposal process, research priorities and CPS expectations of funded scientists," said Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, CPS Executive Director. "We also encourage members of the fresh produce industry to contact us about how they can offer expertise and resources to the research community." Questions may be emailed to or call the CPS office at (530) 554-9706. 

The research objectives have been reviewed and revised by the CPS Technical Committee. A link to the complete list of research priorities is posted on the home page of the CPS website at

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