New Ohio State food safety center to hold inaugural event Nov. 14

Oct. 25, 2019
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COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention (CFI) at The Ohio State University will hold its inaugural event, “Translating Science Into Policy and Practice: What are the food safety priorities?” on Nov. 14 from 1–6:30 p.m. at the Drake Performance and Event Center, 1849 Cannon Drive, on the Columbus campus. 

The event will include a food safety panel discussion featuring:

  • Mindy Brashears, PhD, Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • David Goldman, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Office of Food Policy and Response, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Robert Tauxe, MD, MPH, Director, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The goal of the event is to bring together nationally known food safety experts with those at Ohio State to discuss the translational research needs in food safety, said Barbara Kowalcyk, a recognized food safety expert and an assistant professor of food safety and public health at Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES)

“This kickoff event celebrates our new status as a center at Ohio State,” said Kowalcyk, who is also director of the center. “We are especially excited to host leaders from the three primary federal food safety agencies and hear their thoughts on the future of food safety. 

“This is an incredible opportunity for Ohioans to engage with high-ranking food safety officials while, at the same time, highlighting the food safety work being done here at Ohio State and across the Ohio food safety community,” said Kowalcyk. 

Founded as a nonprofit organization in December 2006, CFI brought its 13-year record of protecting public health to Ohio State in September. The center, which is now housed within the CFAES Department of Food Science and Technology, has a mission to advance a more scientific, risk-based food safety system that prevents foodborne illnesses and protects public health by translating science into policy and practice, Kowalcyk said.

This is significant, considering the World Health Organization estimates that 600 million illnesses and 420,000 deaths are caused annually by 31 foodborne hazards worldwide. In the United States, serious foodborne bacteria, viruses, and fungi cause an estimated 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths each year, conservatively causing $77.7 billion in medical costs and lost productivity.

In addition to the panel discussion, the Nov. 14 event will highlight the food safety work being conducted by Ohio State faculty and researchers. Attendees engaged in food safety research are also invited to participate in a poster session during the event to showcase their work.

The event is free and open to the public. However, space is limited, and advance registration is required. The deadline to register is Nov. 7. Register at Poster abstracts are due Oct. 25. Learn more about the call for posters at

To learn more about CFI, visit