The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has awarded the University of Maryland’s (UMD) Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN) with a five-year, $41 million cooperative agreement. 

The funds are given to support the institute’s work to provide scientific information to fight food-related illness and enable the development of sound public health policy.

JIFSAN, established in 1996, combines the expertise of the FDA with UMD researchers. 

The institute promotes research, education and outreach in food safety, security and applied nutrition. It has also developed innovative partnerships across industry, government and other stakeholders in support of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act.

According to Jianghong Meng, a professor of nutrition and food science at UMD and director of JIFSAN, the enduring partnership and funding will allow the institute to continue its collaborative research efforts between UMD and the FDA. “We are in a new era of food safety where better protections and preventative measures are more important than ever. The last few years have shown that as a community we must all work together to eradicate illness and disease.”

The new funding will help grow several programs, including a congressional mandate on imported aquacultured shrimp, which supports the FDA in regulating the sourcing and importing of shrimp to the United States.

The institute will also conduct multi-institutional, multidisciplinary research projects and develop mechanisms for the exchange of technical information and scientific concepts. The institute plans to continue to advance the development of innovative education and outreach programs that enhance the FDA’s efforts with other nations to improve U.S. and global health.

For more information about JIFSAN, visit their website.

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