Dr. Barbara Kowalcyk and the Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention (housed in CFAES’s Department of Food Science and Technology) recently received almost $700,000 from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Purdue University’s Food Safety Innovation Lab (FSIL) toward improving food safety in Kenya. The team includes her department mates Kara Morgan and Ahmed Yousef as well as Sanja Ilic and Robert Scharff from OSU, three Kenyans, and two from The University of Florida.
The 3.5-year project, called Chakula Salama, is a step towards countering the estimated 91 million illnesses and $16.7 billion in human capital losses in Africa each year due to foodborne disease. Specifically, they will, according to their proposal, “characterize contamination at critical points in poultry value chains, focusing on women and youth farmers in the peri-urban areas of Kenya, and build a pipeline of food microbiology expertise through educational workshops and skills trainings [and then] evaluate the effectiveness of one or two interventions on reducing Salmonella enterica and Campylobacter spp contamination of poultry products and changing food safety knowledge, attitudes, and practices.”
Principal Investigator Kowalcyk had been a biostatistician, working with data from drug trials until unsafe food killed one of her children in 2000. Read about how she turned this tragedy into the founding the Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention, now a part of CFAES https://cfaes.osu.edu/stories/from-personal-tragedy-worldwide-mission which recently got a gift to support its crucial work: https://fst.osu.edu/news/100000-gift-cfaes-support-food-safety
Dr. Kowalcyk speaks on this project on November 19, 2020 on a panel from 9:00-10:30am EST. Register in advance to watch live or stream thereafter at: https://ag.purdue.edu/food-safety-innovation-lab/events/