The USPOULTRY research program is celebrating 50 years of accomplishments. During this time the research program has focused on the most important issues facing the poultry industry. Improvement of product safety has always been a high priority for the industry, and the research program has allocated significant resources toward funding research efforts that focus on Salmonella control. 

In the late 1980s, much attention was drawn toward Salmonella contamination of poultry meat and eggs. In response, USPOULTRY added an additional $1 million dollars to its research budget for food safety research in 1988. Research was funded at 16 different institutions and provided some of the first real advancements toward Salmonella reduction, including Salmonella vaccination of commercial layers and Salmonella enteritidis reduction in commercial eggs. Continual funding on Salmonella research since that time has provided the basis for sustained improvements in product safety. Since 2000, USPOULTRY has provided $688,000 for 17 Salmonella research projects at eight institutions.

"The USPOULTRY research program has provided the research funds that have allowed us to make significant advances in Salmonella control. Without the support of the USPOULTRY research program, the industry would not have been able to make the tremendous improvements we now see in product quality," said Jerry Straughan, general manager for Cal-Maine Foods.

"When the USPOULTRY research program started 50 years ago, the primary focus was on disease control. Although disease control is still important in the program, the largest number of research proposals we receive today is focused on food safety. As the industry's needs have changed, the research program has changed to serve those needs," observed Dr. John Glisson, vice president of research programs at USPOULTRY.