Epidemiology………… is the study of the occurrence and the risk factors of
disease or health-related events in a population and the application of this knowledge to
the control of that disease or event. It incorporates population medicine, critical
reasoning, is interdisciplinary in nature, and lends itself to establishing prevention and
control programs and then measuring the impact of these programs. This discipline is
ideal for the study of disease processes or risk factors in real world settings.
Epidemiology …… is an integrative science that approaches problems using real
world data but is anchored in the scientific approach. Epidemiology, through identifying
risk factors and determining cause of disease, has been instrumental in developing health
policy for the United States with pivotal studies on tobacco use and cancer, the spread of
AIDS, nutrition and heart disease, and food safety. Food safety research is the necessary
foundation for providing a safe and healthy food for the U.S. and the world’s population,
and epidemiology is providing the scientific underpinning for our food safety policy.
Projects in this USDA program integrate research involving epidemiologists,
microbiologists, statisticians, animal scientists, food scientists, geographers, and animal
industry groups. These types of projects are the essential step in understanding and
addressing food safety issues.
Epidemiologic approaches for food safety provides a model for use of epidemiologic
research to address other important agricultural and public health issues such as
animal health, zoonoses, and biosecurity.
Unique Strengths of the USDA NRI Program:
Epidemiologic Approaches to Food Safety
This is the only existing research program to fund large epidemiologic
(population-based) studies in food safety. These projects span the food safety
continuum: from farm to fork; food animals, aquaculture, and produce; and
various foodborne pathogens in different regions of the U.S.
The program addresses several