CFI’s Goals


Goal 1:  Protect America’s food supply to prevent deadly and disabling foodborne illness.


Goal 2:  Raise awareness about foodborne illness and its impacts.


Goal 3:  Raise awareness about the need to use a science-based approach in resolving the growing food safety challenges, both locally and globally.


Goal 4:  Encourage research on foodborne diseases and food safety topics; encourage people to enter agricultural (food) and public health fields.


Goal 5:  Provide risk information and safe food handling recommendations to all food stakeholders, but especially to consumers and those populations most likely to acquire a serious foodborne illness.



CFI Priorities 2012-2017


  • Encourage research on food safety, foodborne illness and consumer behaviors towards food and foodborne diseases.
  • Encourage the development of appropriate metrics for evaluating food safety programs.
  • Encourage the development of economic incentives to improve food safety and to attract individuals into the field of public health.
  • Identify gaps in our food safety systems and in our food crisis responses.
  • Improve America’s food safety system by using the “best available science” and by encouraging the development of new strategies aimed at sustainable food safety systems.
  • Improve regulatory standards and microbial testing programs at the state and federal level to reduce foodborne contamination throughout the farm to fork continuum.
  • Improve foodborne illness reporting and the medical community’s ability to respond to foodborne disease.
  • Increase sharing of food / foodborne illness data across federal agencies and between the 50 states and our national surveillance agencies.
  • Provide consumers with important risk information and food handling practices aimed at preventing foodborne illness.
  • Raise awareness about foodborne illness and its impacts.



Since 2006, CFI has worked to ensure that American consumers have safe food.


Raising awareness – Shifting the Paradigm


  • CFI co-founders, Barbara Kowalcyk and Patricia Buck, were featured in the 2010 Oscar-nominated documentary, Food, Inc., sparking a national discussion on the safety and sustainability of our food supply.
  • CFI drew international attention to foodborne disease when Barbara Kowalcyk received the 2010 LennonOno Grant for Peace and advocated for a holistic One Health approach that integrates human, animal and environmental health.
  • CFI members have participated in multiple national, state and local media interviews to help consumers better understand specific food safety issues.  In 2010, Barbara Kowalcyk was voted the 2010 Ultimate Game Changer in Food by Huffington Post readers.
  • CFI encourages others to learn more about food safety and public health. CFI has given presentations to academic institutions, corporations, medical communities, governmental agencies and the general public.  See CFI’s Presentations.
  • CFI meets with Congressional offices and U.S. regulators in an effort to improve the food safety system. In every phone call, e-mail or in-person meeting, CFI provides information to help decision-makers make policy choices based on the best available science.
  • CFI strongly believes that consumers need to be aware of food safety issues and food risks so that they can make informed decisions about the food they purchase and prepare for their families. CFI works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Partnership for Food Safety Education to promote stronger food safety risk communication messages. CFI also distributes monthly “Info Sheets” about timely food safety and foodborne illness topics. Subscribe to CFI’s monthly “Info Sheets”.


Using Science and Collaborations, along with a One Health approach, to resolve America’s food, food safety and public health challenges.


  • CFI maintains that collaborations strengthen scientific research and advocacy efforts. For example, CFI worked with University of Minnesota to assess stakeholder information needs around Foot and Mouth Disease. Consumers, academia, NGO representatives, and federal, state, and local government officials participated in a mock outbreak scenario and provided feedback to inform USDA crisis communication strategies. See CFI’s Collaborations for more information.
  • CFI maintains that food and food safety data, collected by a variety of governmental and industry stakeholders, must be shared to help America design better food safety strategies. In 2007, CFI worked to secure an agreement that reversed a 10-year-old data-sharing problem between three federal agencies. As a result, data sharing between FDA, USDA and CDC has been greatly improved.
  • CFI maintains that improving food safety will result in many societal benefits, both for the economy and public health.  Read Dr. Tanya Roberts’ Choices article here.
  • CFI presents at scientific food safety conferences, such as the International Association of Food Protection, and participates in various scientific food safety stakeholder forums, such as the National Advisory Committee for the Microbiological Criteria for Food or the National Academies of Sciences.
  •  CFI publishes white papers and fact sheets and submits public comments to Regulations.gov. See CFI’s Document Library for publications. Email CFI for public comments.
  • CFI encourages the development of young scientists interested in food-related and public health fields. CFI has provided financial support and research opportunities to seven graduate students and hosted an undergraduate summer intern.
  • CFI was a founding partner for Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) and the Stakeholder Forum for Antimicrobial Resistance (S-FAR).


Achieving Science-Based, Risk-Based Changes:


  • CFI played a critical role in the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which transformed FDA’s role in food safety from a reactive to a proactive, risk-based approach.  CFI continues its work with consumer coalitions to ensure the implementation of FSMA and other food safety proposals aimed at improving America’s food safety systems. For example, CFI attends monthly regulatory meetings and governmental public meetings focused on food safety topics. CFI also provides public comments to Regulations.gov about proposed Agency rules and guidance directives.
  • CFI has worked with FDA to examine the best options for tracking the long-term health consequences of foodborne diseases. In 2014, CFI convened experts for a two-day workshop on the long-term health outcomes, which in turn, has helped increase awareness about these chronic and disabling conditions.
  • CFI led the Safe Food Coalition in its successful effort to secure USDA-required labeling for mechanically tenderized beef products. Read CFI comments on mechanically tenderized beef.