In order to win the fight against foodborne illness, FDA has issued a challenge to food safety experts and innovators by offering a prize for technological breakthroughs on how to detect disease-causing organisms in food – especially Salmonella in fresh produce.

According to FDA, the 2014 Food Safety Challenge was developed under the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010. This challenge offers a total prize pool of $500,000.

Submitted concepts must specifically address the detection of Salmonella in minimally processed fresh produce, but FDA says it also encourages ideas that address testing for other microbial pathogens in other foods.

“We are thrilled to announce the FDA’s first incentive prize competition under the America COMPETES Act,” said Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine. “This is an exciting opportunity for the federal government to collaborate with outside experts to bring forth breakthrough ideas and technologies that can help ensure quicker detection of problems in our food supply and help prevent foodborne illnesses.”

Entries will be judged by a panel of food safety and pathogen detection experts from the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture who will select finalists, and eventually, a winner or winners.

Anyone interested in participating should submit concepts to FDA by Nov. 9.

A complete list of challenge rules and instructions on how to submit a concept can be found here.