(May 26) The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded a $1.2 million research grant to study the prevention and control of E. coli 0157:H7 in fresh produce.

Jim Gorny, vice president of quality assurance for the United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association, Washington, D.C., a collaborator in the project, said the project is focused on finding the environmental source of E. coli contaminations.

United will be a liaison between researchers and the industry, Gorny said.

The project is scheduled to begin Oct. 1. It is funded for three years, Gorny said.

Research will be performed by the University of California College of Veterinary Medicine and the California Department of Health Services Food and Drug Laboratory.