JIFSAN Internships

Internship Projects

The JIFSAN internship program allows undergraduate students at the University of Maryland, College Park to participate in research at FDA facilities, including the Harvey Wiley Building in College Park and the MOD1 & MOD11 facilities on Muirkirk Road in Laurel, MD. Internships require a time commitment of 8-10 hours/week during the semester and 30 hours/week during winterterm and summer. After 100 hours as an unpaid intern, JIFSAN interns become eligible to compete for a paid internship for subsequent semesters.

Internship applications are available online or from the College of CMNS Internship Office (1313 Symons Hall). Internships generally begin in the summer and continue through the subsequent academic year. At the current time, projects seeking interns are posted in February and for best consideration applications should be submitted by March 15.

Browse available internships only



Animal Health

- Animal Health

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Biological Sciences

- Biology

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    - Botany


      Status: Internship not available
      Project Title: Building a Chloroplast Genome Library at FDA
      Principal Investigators: Handy, Sara
      Project Description: To support its public health mission, the FDA must verify labeling of products. This can be difficult when products are mixtures or heavily processed botanicals. This internship would allow the intern to learn how to extract and sequence plant DNA, specifically targeting chloroplast genomes from FDA species of interest, as well as process that data bioinformatically. This will help continue to build a library of DNA sequences which will give FDA the ability to address the issue of processed botanicals by providing sequence data from which identification techniques can be developed. This database has the potential to become the preeminent repository of genomic data for botanical species.
      Project Objective: - Extract DNA from plants collected by the Smithsonian. - Use the Illumina Miseq to sequence the chloroplast genomes from these plants. - Learn how to annotate the genomes for submission to GenBank.
      Project Needs and Duration: Comfortable pipetting small volumes (~1µl). - Experience with handling DNA. - Coding experience is helpful but not necessary. The duration of the internship project is one year. Time requirements include 8-10 h/week during the school year and 30 h/week during break sessions.
      Location: CFSAN Wiley Building, 5001 Campus Drive, College Park, MD

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    - Entomology

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      - Microbiology


        Status: Internship not available
        Project Title: Impact of O2 and CO2 levels, nitrate and enrichment broth on the growth of various foodborne bacterial species and other bacteria typically associated with background flora for sprouts and leafy greens
        Principal Investigators: Binet, Rachel
        Project Description: Concerns in food safety and food defense require sensitive methods to rapidly track and identify bacterial strains involved in outbreaks of foodborne diseases. Currently, non-selective pre-enrichment broths and various semi-selective enrichment media can be utilized to enrich for the pathogen of interest, yet these media are generally not specific enough to efficiently suppress the growth of the background flora, and too specific to allow for the growth of multiple pathogens. We are exploring the ability of foodborne pathogens to grow in modified controlled atmospheres low in oxygen and high in carbon dioxide, and use nitrate for respiration, to develop a specific enrichment step to enhance their detection from different high-background level fresh food products. A universal one-step enrichment approach would decrease media requirements, improve processing speed and throughput analysis of samples while allowing the ability to detect multiple pathogens. In addition, considering that fresh food products are generally stored in controlled atmosphere gas conditions that are typically very low in O2 and moderately high in CO2 to reduce oxidative deterioration and slow down the proliferation of spoilage organisms, the research will also provide insights useful for both risk assessment and policy formulation for food quality and safety.
        Project Objective: • Perform growth curve experiments in microplate readers in controlled atmosphere environments [20% CO2, 10% CO2 or 5% CO2] with [21% O2, 3% O2 or 0.3%O2]. We will examine the growth of representatives from Shigella, Escherichia, Salmonella, Pantoea, Enterobacter, Morganella, Serratia, Cronobacter, Pseudomonas, Klebsiella and Enterococcus, Lactococcus, Lysinibacillus, Paenibacillus, Bacillus, Steptococcus at 37ºC. • Analyze the data to calculate the growth parameters (latency and doubling time) of each species analyzed in particular environmental conditions • Recovery assays from various food types spiked with Shigella
        Project Needs and Duration: Basic microbiology/bacteriology knowledge is required for this internship. A candidate should also be organized and have the ability to focus while setting up experiments. The estimated duration of the internship project is one year. Time requirements include 8-10 h/week during the school year and 30 h/week during break sessions. This project will run from Summer 2017 through Spring 2018
        Location: CFSAN Wiley Building, 5001 Campus Drive, College Park, MD

        JIP-295(Old Project ID: 272)

        Status: Internship not available
        Project Title: Whole Genome Sequencing and Phenotyping of Listeria monocytogenes isolated from tree fruit production environments
        Principal Investigators: Macarisin, Dumitru
        Project Description: Apples and stone fruits emerged as a new concern for L. monocytogenes contamination in the past few years. The 2014 stone fruit and 2015 caramel apple multistate outbreaks together with several multistate recalls of whole apples due to contamination by L. monocytogenes clearly indicate the massive knowledge gap in the understanding of Listeria incidence and behavior in tree fruit commodities. A better understanding of the prevalence and the mechanisms of persistence of L. monocytogenes in the tree fruit production environments is paramount to developing efficient preventive measures to minimize contamination of whole fruits with L. monocytogenes. This extramural CARTS project (EF01029), will obtain environmental surveillance data on the incidence and prevalence of L. monocytogenes in apple and stone fruit production continuum, while a follow-up whole genome sequencing of these isolates by CFSAN-FDA will yield highly resolved geo-spatial source distribution and genetic relationship among L. monocytogenes strains in the fruit production continuum. The incumbent will identify the unique adaptive phenotypic traits in L. monocytogenes acquired during its colonization of apple/stone fruits and their processing environments by conducting phenotypic microarray analysis. Only by complementing whole genome sequencing data with phenotypic characterization of L. monocytogenes strains persisting in fruit packing facilities will provide holistic microbiological insight into this problem that may lead to more effective good agricultural practices and preventative measures unique to these fruit commodities, and help inforce the FDA produce rule.
        Project Objective: In this project, the intern will; 1. Conduct cultural, biochemical and molecular identification of L. monocytogenes isolates from apple/stone fruit production environments obtained under the extramural project EF01029. 2. Conduct phenotypic microarray characterization of the confirmed L. monocytogenes strains obtained from the fruit production environments.
        Project Needs and Duration: The student must have completed introductory microbiology coursework and have some laboratory experience, preferably with basic microbiological laboratory techniques, such as: sterile field and clean techniques, selective enrichment, automated spiral plating and colony counting, pure culture handling, plate streaking. Good pipetting and micro-pipetting skill is an imperative. Must be able to pass biohazard safety course required to work with BSL2 agent and be experienced in Microsoft Excel and basic statistical analysis. The duration of the internship project is one year. Time requirements include 8-10 h/week during the school year and 30 h/week during break sessions.
        Location: CFSAN Wiley Building, 5001 Campus Drive, College Park, MD

        JIP-298(Old Project ID: 276)

        Status: Internship not available
        Project Title: Investigating the Global Genomic Diversity and Evolution of Cronobacter spp. using a newly developed next generation sequence-based DNA Microarray for technology transfer to FDA Field, FERN, and global Cronobacter food safety partner laboratories.
        Project Description: Cronobacter are ubiquitous organisms present in a wide range of environments, including water, soil, and a variety of fresh, dried, and processed foods. The bacterium has been isolated from factory production lines, including powdered infant formula factories, and households as well as clinical sources such as cerebrospinal fluid, blood, bone marrow, sputum, urine, and feces. The organism is an opportunistic pathogen of humans that can cause infections in all age groups. However, low birth weight neonates are most at risk and in this host group it has been associated with outbreaks of necrotizing enterocolitis, meningitis, and septicemia. Due to the severity of the infant infection, a better understanding of the genomic diversity among Cronobacter spp. is needed, and will be of interest to manufacturers of powdered infant formula, regulatory bodies, and those studying the emergence and phylogenetic diversity of Cronobacter. In summary, FDA's ability to protect the food supply is enhanced through the development of such methods that can rapidly detect foodborne pathogens. Furthermore, molecular methods for distinguishing, identifying, and tracking Cronobacter involved in foodborne illness can be of significant value during epidemiological investigations as well as analyzing incidences where food or food production sources have been contaminated. By applying highly discriminatory molecular methods such as next generation sequence- based DNA microarrays for identification and tracking of bacterial pathogens, the nature of foodborne outbreaks caused by these pathogens can be better understood thereby helping to ensure the safety and integrity of the food supply. It is hoped that this information will lead to better preventative and mitigating strategies for the control of these organisms within a manufacturing setting and to decrease the time needed to characterize isolates involved in outbreak cases. Once these further in- house validation experiments are accomplished, a multi-lab validation study and technology transfer to the FDA field, FERN, and global food safety partner laboratories can be further developed.

        JIP-291(Old Project ID: 266)

        Status: Internship not available
        Project Title: Identification and Characterization of Salmonella enterica from Spices
        Principal Investigators: Jean-Gilles Beaubrun, Junia
        Project Description: In recent years, spices increasingly have been associated with outbreaks of Salmonella, showcasing the need for increased surveillance and an improved outbreak response. Unfortunately, many spices contain antimicrobial compounds that minimize the effectiveness of current methods used to detect Salmonella, yet the organism can survive in the dried product. This project will evaluate the effectiveness of corn oil as an additive to attract these antimicrobial phenolic compounds while allowing Salmonella growth during pre-enrichment culture. This approach is a crucial step that will enhance detection using both traditional culture and molecular methods. In this investigation Salmonella detection, isolation, and identification will be conducted using spices and corn oil as an additives in the pre-enrichment broth. The BAM chapter 5 Method for Salmonella will be used concurrently with molecular screening methods such as the PCR serotyping method, and metagenomics
        Project Objective: Assist in the detection and serotyping of Salmonella enterica from pre- enrichment and selective enrichment broth cultures of spice samples. Detection of Salmonella will be conducted using the plating methods on multiple chromogenic agar, PCR analysis and metagenomic preparation.
        Project Needs and Duration: A good candidate is a student who is willing to learn and is excited about science. Basic Biology and Microbiology course and some laboratory experience. Onsite training will be conducted. The duration of the internship project is one year. Time requirements include 8-10 h/week during the school year and 30 h/week during break sessions.
        Location: CFSAN MOD-1, 8301 Muirkirk Road, Laurel, MD

        JIP-297(Old Project ID: 275)

        Status: Internship not available
        Project Title: Food Sample preparation for toxin detection assays and data analysis to evaluate assay performance criteria
        Principal Investigators: Sharma, Shashi
        Project Description: Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), abrins and staphylococcus enterotoxins possess exhibit ingestional and inhalational toxicity. Contamination of these toxins in food sources can result food-borne illnesses. They are also biothreat agents that can cause high mortality and morbidity. Intentional contamination of food sources remains as a major concerns. Detection and identification of these toxins, serotypes or their toxin subtypes in clinical specimen, food or environmental sources is critical for clinical response, epidemiological investigations, identifying food or environmental source of contamination, and for prevention-focused biosurveillance measures to safeguard public health security and food safety. However, sample matrices that are subjected for testing the presence of these toxins impose several challenges in developing rapid, sensitive and robust detection assay. They contain various substances that provide background signals, structurally mimic the analytes that are non- specifically detected. Besides this, physico-chemical properties like viscosity, pH, salt concentration, fat content, etc., affect recovery or extraction of toxins to enable sensitive detection. Hence food or other sample preparation needs to be suitably optimized for maximal extraction of toxins without disrupting their antigenic structure for developing robust detection assays. Regulatory Issue: The proposed project aligns with our goals to develop rapid, robust and sensitive detection methods for detecting high-impact select environmental pathogens and toxins that affect food safety and public health security. Mouse lethality bioassay (MLB) is the current standard reference method for detecting BoNTs in food samples for confirming outbreaks of food borne botulism and also for identifying the food source that have caused an outbreak. MLB has several limitations. It takes 3-4 days for completing the assay; requires expensive animal facilities and dedicated personnel; cost and skill intensive; lacks throughput capabilities to test suspected food samples and often may not distinguish if symptoms are caused by BoNTs or other toxin/chemical contaminants. Rapid and sensitive detection of botulinum neurotoxins within 24 to 48 hours methods is highly desirable. In addition, abrins and staphylococcal enterotoxins are also considered as bio-threat agents and intentional contamination of these toxins in food or environmental sources remain as a major concern. Optimization of various food or environmental sample preparation techniques is critical for developing robust, rapid and sensitive detection methods to investigate an outbreak sample, and identify the source of origin. Optimized sample processing methods can be adopted as standard laboratory protocols. The objectives of this project contribute to regulatory method development that can be used for surveillance of toxins in food and environmental sources for handling any emergency biothreat situations, and for Medical counter measure applications.
        Project Objective: The JIFSAN Intern will work closely with CFSAN researchers at the Office of Regulatory Science, Division of Microbiology, Molecular Method Development Branch (CFSAN/ORS/DM/MMDB). This project involves both hands-on laboratory work and analyses of the data using basic and simple statistical tools. The intern will have an opportunity to learn and understand the concepts behind in assay development, conditions or parameters of an assay that influence performance criteria such as sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, precision and analyte recovery. Due to biosafety regulations the intern will not be working with any toxins (select agents) or samples containing toxins. In this project the intern will, from June 2017 to May 2018 conduct weekly or biweekly i. Perform literature search relevant to food sample preparation for toxin assays. ii. Prepare samples by processing different food types (liquid, solid and semi-solid foods, foods of varying pH values, salt concentration, etc) and optimizing various food sample matrix preparation as suitable for immunoassays or mass-spectrophotometry based toxin detection assays. iii. Perform affinity column chromatography for purifying recombinant proteins. iv. Prepare samples for whole genome sequencing applications. v. Analyze data provided by the CFSAN researchers using basic and simple statistical tools (calculating mean, standard deviation, coefficient of variation, range etc). vi. Prepare media, quality and critical reagents and stocks needed for the assay development
        Project Needs and Duration: Preliminary knowledge in microbiology, chemistry and biochemistry is required. Some working knowledge of basic laboratory practices is preferred. Above all, the student should be diligent and have a passion for scientific research. The duration of the internship project is one year. Time requirements include 8-10 h/week during the school year and 30 h/week during break sessions.
        Location: CFSAN Wiley Building, 5001 Campus Drive, College Park, MD

        JIP-288(Old Project ID: 270)

        Status: Internship not available
        Project Title: Genomic Analysis of Hibernators-Persisters Contaminating Low Water Activity Foods and Dietary Supplements to Develop Specific Laboratory Strategies to Identify the Presence of Persister Cells
        Project Description: During many of the kill steps used in food processing to reduce pathogens contaminating foods, a small fraction of cells typically survive through entering the so-called persister state. Persister cells are increasingly being viewed as a major cause of recurrent chronic infectious disease and in the emergence of foodborne disease. The phenomenon of persistence remains poorly understood, but it is thought that persister cells form stochastically by switching into and out of a state of dormancy. Only recently, a series of breakthrough discoveries has started to shed light on persister cell physiology and the molecular and genetic underpinnings of persister formation. Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems have been implicated in the formation of the persistence phenotype in some bacterial species including E.coli and Salmonella. The TA systems include MqsR/MqsA, TisB/IstR-1 and hipA. There is limited information available on the development of persister cells in food products. Low water activity or dry food matrices like Powdered Infant Formula (PIF), some dietary supplements, spices, nuts and other products provide a conducive growth environment that may be contributing to the induction of persistent cells in these food products. It is critical to develop specific laboratory strategies to identify the presence of persister cells, to understand the factors contributing to their induction and to develop methods to prevent them from surviving. Combining microbiological methods in selected food matrices with a metagenomics approach may lead to effective strategies to prevent the risk posed by contaminating bacterial persister sub-populations in food matrices having long shelf lives, and will augment current CFSAN metagenomic approaches. We propose to study the formation and recovery processes of persisters in low water activity food matrices to develop effective strategies to prevent the formation of persisters and inhibit their ability to survive in food regulated by FDA.


        Status: Internship not available
        Project Title: Evaluation of the Effect of Transport Media on Listeria monocytogenes Survival in Environmental Samples
        Principal Investigators: Burall, Laurel
        Project Description: The student will work as part of a team to evaluate the ability of L. monocytogenes (Lm) to be recovered from four different transport media after sublethal exposure to sanitizers commonly used in food production facilities on a stainless steel surface. As background flora can affect survival, Lm survival will be tested in the presence of background flora obtained from environmental swabs of dairy processing facilities and evaluate recovery in different enrichment media from the four transport media. This will allow the optimization of an environmental sampling method for the BAM.
        Project Objective: Perform enrichments of sublethally injured Lm from combinations of four transport media in up to 5 enrichment media and determine Lm recovery.
        Project Needs and Duration: The ideal student will have some classes and/or training in microbiology and/or basic biology. However, as most training is possible on the job, the key feature is an enthusiasm for research and a desire to participate in the problem solving nature of our work. The duration of the internship project is one year. Time requirements include 8-10 h/week during the school year and 30 h/week during break sessions.
        Location: CFSAN MOD-1, 8301 Muirkirk Road, Laurel, MD

        JIP-284(Old Project ID: 269)

        Status: Internship not available
        Project Title: Development and Evaluation of Enumeration Methods for Listeria monocytogenes in Select Foods
        Principal Investigators: Chen, Yi
        Project Description: Detection and enumeration of L. monocytogenes in FDA regulated foods are crucial for the control of foodborne listeriosis. The FDA Bacteriological Analytical Manual (BAM) contains a general enumeration protocol, but different foods may require different sample preparation and enumeration schemes. It is critical to determine the best approach for enumerating L. monocytogenes in each individual food matrix because such enumeration data in food samples obtained during regular surveillance and outbreak investigations would improve our understanding of the risk associated with foodborne exposure to L. monocytogenes. This research is especially useful in determining infectious dose, which would affect FDA’s regulatory strategy for this pathogen by providing better scientific evidence for risk assessment and guidance development.
        Project Objective: The specific objectives are: a. Optimization of sample preparation procedures for direct-plating enumeration of L. monocytogenes in select foods such as sprouts, leafy green produce. b. Comparative evaluation of selective agars for direct-plating enumeration of L. monocytogenes in select foods, especially those with a high level of background flora. The agars that will be evaluated include ALOA, Rapid L. mono, CHROMagar Listeria and R&F agar. Newer formulations and/or combination of selective agars may be necessary to provide the best results. c. Comparative evaluation of MPN and direct-plating methods for the enumeration of L. monocytogenes in select foods. This will determine the preferred methods for investigative use of regulatory samples. d. Evaluation of novel enumeration methods for rapid and accurate enumeration of L. monocytogenes in food matrices that are difficult to enumerate by either MPN or direct plating. Food samples that have high background flora will be selected for such evaluation. The specificity, detection limit and its ability to work with complex food enrichment mix will be accessed.
        Project Needs and Duration: Applicants with course work, lab work or research experience in Microbiology would be preferred. The duration of the internship project is one year. Time requirements include 8-10 h/week during the school year and 30 h/week during break sessions.
        Location: CFSAN Wiley Building, 5001 Campus Drive, College Park, MD

        JIP-272(Old Project ID: JIP255)

        Status: Internship not available
        Project Title: Detection and enumeration of Listeria monocytogenes in cantaloupe mesocarp (flesh); the role for temperature differential-driven internalization and transfer from contaminated rind
        Project Description: Postharvest washing and sanitizing of cantaloupes has limited efficiency in reducing populations of pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms on the fruit surface. Complete elimination of microorganisms from cantaloupes is impossible due to specificities of surface morphology such as netted rind and crevices. Additionally, natural surface openings such stem scar, calyx, and lenticels can serve as ports of L. monocytogenes (Lm) entry into the fruit. Research data on cantaloupe exocarp and mesocarp colonization by Lm is limited. The transfer rate for Lm from contaminated exocarp onto edible portions of the fruits in the process of fruit peeling or slicing is not well elucidated either. Our research demonstrated that Lm can infiltrate into cantaloupe fruit in the process of hydrocooling. This discovery can shift the paradigm of microbial safety of vegetable fruits and as a result affect regulation of current postharvest handling practices for cantaloupes and cucurbitaceous fruits in general. Thus, it is critical to identify the mechanism of Lm internalization during hydrocooling of cantaloupes. A better understanding of spatial distribution and growth dynamics of internalized Lm in the edible portions of the fruit will advance the Agency’s public health mission by filling knowledge gap in cantaloupe risk assessment. The incumbent will focus on the microscopic (immunofluorescence) analysis of the cantaloupe vascular tissue from fruits subjected to hydrocooling in water contaminated with Lm. A newly acquired Zeiss 880 Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope (LSCM) by the Division of Microbiology will be used for this purpose. Edible portions of the fruit adjacent to the stem scar, mid-section of the fruit, seed cavity, and adjacent to the calix will be analyzed separately to obtain a picture of the Lm migration trajectory via the vascular tissue of the fruit. The potential of the Lm to infiltrate into the mescoarp after spot contamination of the rind will also be evaluated. These experiments will involve both western and eastern cantaloupe varieties. If cantaloupe surface becomes contaminated under preharvest conditions (rare event) or it is contaminated during postharvest processing (e.g. Jansen farm outbreak) complete decontamination of the netted rind is impossible. It is critical to assess the risk of Lm transfer from contaminated rind to mesocarp in the process of fruits preparations. At consecutive time intervals (1, 3, 7, 14 days) after fruit surface inoculation, the incumbent will evaluate Lm transfer rate from contaminated rind to edible portions of the fruit in the process of cantaloupe peeling and slicing. Transfer rate on eastern cantaloupe varieties with smooth rind will be compared to that on western varieties with a netted rind.

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      - Toxicology

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        - Public Health

          JIP-287(Old Project ID: 274)

          Status: Internship not available
          Project Title: Antibody characterization and immunoassay for detection of food allergens and gluten
          Project Description: Strict avoidance of foods containing an allergen and gluten is the only choice currently available for consumers suffering from food allergy and celiac disease, respectively. Labeling regulations such as FALCPA and gluten-free rule are enacted to ensure the safety of these individuals by the use of robust and sensitive allergen detection methods. ELISA is commonly used method for food allergen detection, but its accuracy may be affected when foods undergoes thermal and non-thermal processing which destroys the antibody binding epitope region of the antigen. This project will develop specific antibodies against modified antigens and develop immunoassays that can help detect and accurately quantify food allergens and gluten.

          JIP-296(Old Project ID: 273)

          Status: Internship not available
          Project Title: Assessment of media perception/interpretation of communications messaging on CFSAN issues.
          Project Description: Members of the OFVM Strategic Communications Outreach and Public Engagement (SCOPE) team in collaboration with CFSAN program office staff spend much of their time developing and clearing materials to communicate the Center’s policies and actions to media, consumers, and other interested parties through social media. The media serve as a conduit for the FDA to communicate to consumers, industry, Congress, state, local and international governments, and other stakeholders. Therefore, it is supremely important that our communications be effective. Currently, although we monitor news stories and capture them in a weekly media report, we don’t have the resources to adequately evaluate the effectiveness of our efforts. Investing time to retrospectively evaluate the success of our communications strategies will help us better understand for which issues/topics we are communicating clearly, and reaching the target audience. This will help inform decisions about future communications strategy and policy ventures, helping SCOPE and CFSAN staff work smarter not harder on the development and clearance of communications material.


          Status: Internship not available
          Project Title: Content Analysis and Variation in State Retail Regulations and Retail Food Safety Guidance
          Principal Investigators: Liggans, Girvin
          Project Description: This project will involve examining and comparing state retail food regulations with the FDA Food Code and conducting content analysis of retail food safety laws enacted in the 50 states from 2012-2016. CFSAN’s Retail Food Protection Staff (RFPS) is attempting to better understand and document: 1. The presence, similarities/differences of various Food Code related provisions and definitions in state Food Codes 2. The equivalency of various state Food Code provision with the FDA Food Code 3. Provisions that are present in state Food Codes but absent in the FDA Food Code 4. The types, similarities, and characteristics of the retail food safety laws being enacted at the state level 5. How regulatory partners at the state, local, tribal, and territorial levels incorporate Food Code provisions into their regulatory documents, and use the internet to deliver retail food safety information to their stakeholders. 6. The types, similarities, and characteristics of the retail regulations being enacted in the 50 states. This information will be used to inform decisions regarding the technical assistance to be provided by FDA to regulatory retail food safety, better understand policy diffusion, and evaluate the need to make potential changes to the FDA Food Code. The FDA publishes the Food Code, a model that assists food control jurisdictions at all levels of government by providing them with a scientifically sound technical and legal basis for regulating the retail and food service segment of the industry (restaurants and grocery stores and institutions such as nursing homes). Local, state, tribal, and federal regulators use the FDA Food Code as a model to develop or update their own food safety rules and to be consistent with national food regulatory policy. To date, all 50 states have adopted some version of the FDA Food Code. RFPS manages the activities necessary to promote the adoption of the Food Code and to create an enhanced regulatory environment for retail food operations.
          Project Objective: The intern will work with the FDA Retail Food Protection Staff (RFPS) to: • Conduct a content analysis and report on retail food safety laws enacted in the 50 states from 2012-2016. • Examine state retail food regulatory codes and prepare a report on the presence and similarities/differences between the Food Code and state code for each provision and definition of interest.
          Project Needs and Duration: Applicant should be familiar with research methods and conducting scientific literature reviews; coursework in public health and/or public policy; Microsoft Access; attention to detail; self-motivation; data management and analysis. The duration of the internship project is one year. Time requirements include 8-10 h/week during the school year and 30 h/week during break sessions.
          Location: CFSAN Wiley Building, 5001 Campus Drive, College Park, MD

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        - Chemistry


          Status: Internship not available
          Project Title: Evaluation of Current Official Methods for the Determination of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) in Foods and Dietary Supplements
          Project Description: Foods and dietary supplements containing long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), namely eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are frequently consumed in the United States (US) and other countries. These products are intended to reduce the risk of chronic disease and are also marketed toward pregnant and breastfeeding women to support pregnancy outcomes and child growth, development, and health. As a result, a wide variety of products are now available that vary in sample matrix (liquid oils, soft gels, emulsions, chewable gummy supplements) and formulation, using fish, algal, and krill oils to provide long chain omega-3 PUFA. Current official methods for measuring omega-3 PUFA were specifically developed for the analysis of fish oils and fish oil esters. The performance of these methods with other marine oils or microencapsulated oils remains to be investigated. The objective of this project is to verify the performance of current official methods for the analysis of long chain omega-3 PUFA in foods and dietary supplements. This work will support FDA’s programmatic and regulatory efforts by defining appropriate analytical methods to be used in the analysis of foods and dietary supplements containing omega-3 PUFA, especially for those in which official methods are currently unavailable or not appropriate.


          Status: Internship not available
          Project Title: Evaluation of Automated Sample Preparation Technologies for LC-MS-mycotoxin Analysis in Foods
          Principal Investigators: Zhang, Kai
          Project Description: An automated sample preparation workflow replacing manual procedures would improve throughput and consistency, minimize human intervention, and relieve laboratory personnel from labor-intensive operations of routine sample analysis. This project aims to collect comparative results between the use of fully automated sample preparation systems and conventional, manual extraction and clean-up procedures for a wide range of foods (e.g., peanut butter, milk, apple juice, wheat flour, corn) that are routinely screened for mycotoxin contamination by FDA field laboratories. Both approaches will be coupled to LC-MS (LC-MS/MS and LC-HRMS) analysis that allows for simultaneous detection of multiple mycotoxins. Reproducibility, selectivity, accuracy, and precision of both approaches will be compared and evaluated according to the FDA Method Validation Guidelines. These automated sample preparation systems will not only streamline conventional sample analysis by integrating various manual handling steps together but will also offer the flexibility to be programed for the analysis of different types of food matrices. Samples will be prepared through unattended automation following standard protocols so that consistency can be achieved among samples in each batch with decreased manual labor.
          Project Objective: The intern will be trained to prepare mycotoxin samples in both manual and automated fashions so that reproducibility, selectivity, accuracy, and precision of both approaches will be compared and evaluated according to the FDA Method Validation Guidelines.
          Project Needs and Duration: The student should have a science major with basic understanding about analytical chemistry. The duration of the internship project is one year. Time requirements include 8-10 h/week during the school year and 30 h/week during break sessions.
          Location: CFSAN Wiley Building, 5001 Campus Drive, College Park, MD

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        Food Defense

        - Food Defense

        No projects available under Food Defense Back to the top

        Nutritional Sciences

        - Nutritional Sciences

        No projects available under Nutritional Sciences Back to the top


        - Public Health


          Status: Internship not available
          Project Title: Major Allergen Detection by Immunoassays in Processed Complex Food Commodities
          Project Description: FDA needs improved analytical methods for detection of major food allergens from processed complex foods. This project will help to ensure labeling accuracy for effective food allergen management plans and to protect allergic consumers


          Status: Internship not available
          Project Title: Literature review to inform the implementation of FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) policies that address minimally-processed produce
          Principal Investigators: Crowley, Cecilia
          Project Description: • Help in the development of the updated Fresh-cut Guidance to reflect the Preventive Controls for Human Foods Rule and current best practices. • Perform literature review on time/temperature control for safety with sprouts and to generate policy options in this area in response to requests received from the sprout industry. • Help in the compilation and analysis of processed produce-related foreign inspection results.
          Project Objective: • Generate a summary chart of recent and relevant scientific research on fresh-cut produce safety to inform the Fresh-Cut Guidance development. • Generate a policy options document on the appropriate time/temperature controls for safety on sprouts. • Generate a summary memo describing the findings of processed produce facility foreign inspections.
          Project Needs and Duration: • Food Science, Public Health, Biology, and/or Microbiology majors • Attention to detail • Strong work ethic The duration of the internship project is one year. Time requirements include 8-10 h/week during the school year and 30 h/week during break sessions.
          Location: CFSAN Wiley Building, 5001 Campus Drive, College Park, MD

          JIP-292(Old Project ID: 282)

          Status: Internship not available
          Project Title: Major Allergen Detection by Immunoassays in Processed Complex Food Commodities
          Project Description: FDA needs improved analytical methods for detection of major food allergens from processed complex foods. This project will help to ensure labeling accuracy for effective food allergen management plans and to protect allergic consumers.

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        - International Trade

        No projects available under International Trade Back to the top

        - Marketing

        No projects available under Marketing Back to the top