Revolutionizing the speed by which FDA personnel can check minimally processed fresh produce for Salmonella is the goal of the 2014 FDA Food Safety Challenge.

FDA Food Safety Challenge Finalists on Stage Today

The challenge seeks to achieve revolutionary improvements in the speed of FDA’s detection methods for Salmonella in fresh produce.

Five finalist teams are presenting their concepts July 7 before a panel of seven judges and a live audience at FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in College Park, Md. The contest is the 2014 FDA Food Safety Challenge, which seeks to achieve revolutionary improvements in the speed of FDA's detection methods for Salmonella in minimally processed fresh produce. The teams are competing for the remainder of a total prize purse of $500,000.

Speakers helping to kick off the event at 1 p.m. EDT will include Michael Taylor, FDA deputy commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, and Susannah Fox, chief technology officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A live webcast of the presentations will be available.

FDA issued a call for submissions in September 2014, and the finalists were announced in May 2015. They are Bart Weimer, Ph.D., from the Dr. Bart Weimer/U.C. Davis/Mars, Inc. team; a University of Illinois/Purdue University team; a Purdue University team; an Auburn University team; and Dr. John Bruno, chief technology officer from from Pronucleotein, Inc.

The winner(s) will be announced in late July, according to FDA.

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