FDA invests significant resources in research to:
- Further scientific knowledge about potential food hazards
- Expand on best safety practices
- Better understand how consumers access, prepare, and use the foods they serve and eat
This section provides information about FDA’s lab methods, research areas, and projects. You can also access selected scientific publications, presentations, and teaching tools.
FDA sets scientific standards for testing foods for various contaminants, and in the case of fish, to confirm identity of the species. Labs and food companies worldwide use these standards to make sure that food products are safe to eat and drink.
- CFSAN Laboratory Quality Assurance Manual
- Bacteriological Analytical Manual (BAM) & Other Microbiological Methods
- Drug & Chemical Residues Methods
- Elemental Analysis Manual (EAM)
- Macroanalytical Procedures Manual (MPM)
- Pesticide Analytical Manual (PAM)
- Regulatory Fish Encyclopedia (RFE)
FDA regulates the safety of food for humans and animals, including foods produced from genetically engineered (GE) plants. Foods from GE plants must meet the same food safety requirements as foods derived from traditionally bred plants.
Research Areas & Projects
FDA works across a number of research areas that support the agency's overall mission to promote and protect public health. Our research helps inform FDA’s efforts aimed at improving consumer food safety behaviors. We also help ensure that regulatory decisions about foods are science-based and transparent. Learn more about FDA's research areas and projects:
- Consumer Behavior Research
- Risk & Safety Assessment
- Healthy People Initiative
- Intramural Research Program
- Total Diet Study
- Safe Practices for Food Processors
- Whole Genome Sequencing Program (WGS)
- DNA-based Seafood Identification Project
- Research Strategic Plan
- Selected Publications & Presentations - Read selected scientific publications and presentations by FDA's scientists and researchers.
- Educational Materials - Download educational materials, including a food science curriculum for middle and high school students.
- CFSAN Technical Lexicon - Download the CFSAN Technical Lexicon to add technical terms to your word processing dictionary.