The MSU Biosafety Level-2 (BSL-2) Pilot Plant provides food processing research and testing. Studies can be performed using foodborne pathogens such as SalmonellaListeria, and E. coli O157:H7 in pilot-scale, commercial processing equipment. Unlike other research laboratories or industry food testing laboratories, the MSU BSL-2 Pilot Plant directly tests models and new technologies and processes in conditions closely mimicking real world conditions.

Only a few similar food testing facilities exist in North America, so numerous brand name food companies use the MSU facility to help improve or validate the safety of their food processing systems. The partnership between MSU and food processors is critical to continue meeting the food safety needs of the food processing industry.  Examples of research projects conducted at the MSU BSL-2 Pilot Plant jointly with food processing companies include: testing an antimicrobial spray system for continuous treatment of conveyor belts inoculated with Listeria in poultry and meat operations; conducting inoculated validation trials with E. coli O157:H7 on whole-muscle beef product processed with an ozonated water spray system; validating the reduction of Salmonella on the surface of almonds via thermal processing in a moist-air impingement oven; and validating thermal critical control points for oven-baked and oil-fried products inoculated with multiple strains of SalmonellaE. coli O157:H7, and Listeria.