Texas Tech University’s International Center for Food Industry Excellence (ICFIE), Lubbock, Texas, was selected as a National Surveillance Lab for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) Retail Meat Surveillance Program through a competitive federal grant process.
Texas Tech will receive $700,000 to monitor beef, pork and poultry products for pathogens and antibiotic resistance.
“We are honored to have been selected as a surveillance site by the program,” says Mindy Brashears, a professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences and director of ICFIE. “Our experience in food safety and antibiotic resistance monitoring in the meat industry helped us to obtain the funding, which will have a long-term impact on public health. We look forward to working with NARMS to identify sources of antibiotic resistance and in assisting with outbreak investigations if necessary.”
Additional College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources faculty involved in the project include Alejandro Echeverry, an assistant professor in food safety; Kendra Nightingale, an associate professor of food safety; and Mark Miller, a professor of meat science. Todd Brashears, an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications, will oversee the reporting and compliance programs.
NARMS was established in 1996 and collaborates with state and local public health departments, the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote and protect public health.