Last week, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the U.K. published its Forward Evidence Plan for 2014, outlining priorities for the coming year. The plan is meant to draw the attention of potential research funders and inform stakeholders. A major portion of the plan addresses Campylobacter, Britain’s most common cause of food poisoning. In the plan, FSA is proposing to study how to modify processing equipment to limit Campylobacter contamination, how the pathogen attaches to chicken surfaces, why practices required for good hygiene are inconsistently applied and how to improve adherence, what factors affect variations in Campylobacter disease rates, which antimicrobial treatments could remove surface contamination, how frequently cross-contamination occurs in household kitchens and what might be the best practices for safely cooking chicken. FSA also plans to promote new food safety guidance regarding Listeria in hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare settings. With the emergence of Hepatitis E in pork and Hepatitis A in berries and processed foods, these viruses are another concern. “Evidence points to these viruses being more heat stable than bacteria and this has raised questions concerning current processing or cooking conditions,” the plan states. So the agency plans to review literature and do further experiments to analyze heat stability. In early 2013, curry leaves used in a ready-to-eat dish in Northeast England led to an outbreak of nearly 1,000 cases of Salmonella, Shigella and Enteroaggregative E. coli. As a result, FSA plans to address the need for better advice on curry leaf risk reduction. The agency will also be studying the proportion of foodborne pathogens acquired in the home as opposed to external settings, the diversity of Enteroaggregative E. coli strains, exposure to metals and other elements in the U.K. diet, potential alternatives for food preservatives, the risks associated with buying food online, and bacteriophages – viruses that can kill bacteria and reduce microbiological contamination of foods. And, in light of the horsemeat scandal earlier this year, FSA wants to develop tools for detecting horsemeat in heavily processed foods and determining the origin of foods. Some projects FSA has already undertaken include reviewing the available rapid testing methods for detecting marine biotoxin in shellfish and researching toxoplasma in food and livestock. Other aspects of the plan address food allergies and nutrition.