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The Food Safety Center
of Excellence was established by the University of Tennessee in
December 2000, as part of the university's 21st Century Research
Initiative. The center will develop and evaluate strategies to
destroy or control food-borne pathogens and reduce the occurrence
of food-borne illnesses. Contributing to this work is a multi-disciplinary
team of researchers, consisting of members of UT's Institute of
Agriculture's Department of Food Science and Technology as well
as researchers from departments outside the department. Specialists
include scientists with expertise in biochemistry, reproductive
biology, food service management, parasitology, infectious diseases
and risk assessment.
The team's efforts will
be coordinated by the Center's two co-directors: Dr. Ann Draughon,
professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology, and
Dr. Stephen Oliver, professor in the Department of Animal Science.
The two microbiologists created and developed a food safety initiative
at the Institute of Agriculture that served as the precursor to
the new Center of Excellence.
The University of Tennessee
will fund the Food Safety Center with $5 million over the next
five years. Current research developed by the Institute's food
safety initiative has already attracted more than $3 million in
federal and private support.