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ARS Honors Technology Transfer Award Winners

By Laura McGinnis
February 13, 2008

WASHINGTON, February 13, 2008—Food safety researchers top the list of teams who are receiving 2007 Technology Transfer Awards from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief intramural scientific research agency. These awards recognize ARS researchers who successfully develop and deliver new technology for public use.

For developing technology to reduce pathogen contamination of beef and poultry, ARS research teams at Clay Center, Neb., and Fayetteville, Ark., received 2007 Technology Transfer Awards for Outstanding Efforts. They were recognized this week with six other teams at the ARS Annual Recognition Program.

"The research honored this year exemplifies our agency's commitment to developing agricultural solutions and making them available to researchers, scientists and members of the general public," said ARS Administrator Edward B. Knipling.

Scientists at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) in Clay Center were recognized for developing a chemical hide-washing system that removes E. coli O157:H7 and other dangerous microorganisms from cattle hides before processing. The treatment is used on an estimated 40 percent of U.S. feedlot-raised beef cattle, and saves the U.S. beef industry millions of dollars every year. Since the industry adopted the technology, the amount of ground beef in the United States testing positive for E. coli O157:H7 has dropped by about 43 percent. The research was led by USMARC Director Mohammad Koohmaraie. (Team members)

Research conducted at the Poultry Production and Product Safety Research Unit in Fayetteville also helped reduce the risk of foodborne pathogen contamination. Research leader Ann M. Donoghue, with colleagues at the University of Arkansas, developed a new method for identifying beneficial probiotic bacteria. When consumed by poultry, such bacteria crowd out pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter inside the bird, improving bird health and food safety. Billions of chickens and turkeys throughout the world stand to benefit from the adoption of this research. (Team members)

ARS also recognized six individuals and groups for Superior Efforts in Technology Transfer: