Banner History Image
Banner image
Banner image

Celebrating 70 Years!

FRI 70th Anniversary Logo The past 70 years have seen many changes in the food supply. We have evolved from a system where food largely was restricted to what was available locally at any given time, to one where consumers can purchase an array of fresh and processed foods year round. These vast choices bring new challenges in food safety. Our awareness of foodborne pathogens has increased from a focus largely on Clostridium, Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella to a long list of viral, bacterial, and protozoal pathogens. The importance of recognizing — and in some cases anticipating — the potential risks posed by these pathogens is framed by heightened consumer expectations and a legal and regulatory framework that might have surprised people in 1946.

One constant throughout this period has been the Food Research Institute. From its inception by Dr. Gail Dack at the University of Chicago, FRI has helped food producers identify problems and develop and validate methods to prevent or eliminate pathogens in various food products. This effort continued after Dr. Mike Foster led the transfer of FRI to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1966. In the ensuing years, FRI has continued to work with its food industry partners to develop and test formulations and procedures that increase the safety of food products.

View the Historial Time Line for a brief overview of the Food Research Institute, and the FRI Alumni Time Line to view a list of FRI alumni over the years.

We hope you will join us in Madison May 18–19 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of FRI and 50th anniversary at UW-Madison. In addition to the annual scientific program, there will be a special picnic reception at Dejope Hall, near the grounds of the original FRI building, on the evening of May 17. It will be a time to reflect on the vision of pioneers like Gail Dack and Mike Foster, reflect on the contributions FRI has made over the decades, reminisce with old friends, and discuss current food safety challenges.

Learn more about the meeting and celebration here.

Campbell Soup CompanyConAgra FoodsFonterraGeneral MillsGreat Lakes CheeseHormel Foods (Jennie-O Turkey Store)Kerry Ingredients and FlavoursKraft Foods (Oscar Mayer Foods)Leprino FoodsPepsiCoSchreiber FoodsWayne Farms