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USDA grant will support state’s small food processors

Wisconsin farmers who want to add value to their crops and small businesses that want to expand their markets are delving into manufacture and sale of canned pickles, salsas and other family-favorite products. A new project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will benefit these growing small businesses. Barbara Ingham, a Cooperative Extension food safety specialist and professor of food science at the UW-Madison, will play a key role in the project recently announced by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Ingham will collaborate with scientists from Wisconsin and North Carolina, state and federal regulators, food processors and others to work on a National Integrated Food Safety Initiative grant to better understand the survival of toxic microorganisms that can survive in acidified foods such as pickles and salsa, and new processing techniques to help ensure the safety of these products.

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