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USDA introduces ‘fix’ in testing for Salmonella in poultry

ARS agricultural engineer Yud-Ren Chen is developing a computer-directed scanning system that could help speed inspection of the nearly 8 billion chickens processed annually through federally inspected U.S. plants.  Photograph taken by Keith Weller (ARS).

Instructions for testing personnel to use a new “neutralizing buffer” solution to reduce the effect of antimicrobial sanitizers take effect today at USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The “fix,” explained in a two-page FSIS Notice, is intended to address a problem turned up in research by USDA’s Agriculture Research Service (ARS). ARS researchers… Continue Reading

FDA extends comment period for raw manure and fresh produce

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Federal officials have extended the comment period for the second time for those wishing to provide information about a risk assessment of foodborne illnesses associated with pathogens from fresh produce grown in fields with raw manure. The extension, which allows comments to be filed through July 19, is the second extension granted by the Food… Continue Reading

Consumers had key to unlock E. coli outbreak linked to flour

Opinion

flour key

Editor’s note: This blog by FDA’s Stephen Ostroff and Kathleen Gensheimer was originally posted by the agency as part of its “FDA Voice” series on June 28, 2016. When many people buy flour, they empty it into a canister and throw out the bag. But three people at the center of a recent outbreak of… Continue Reading

GenomeTrakr is FDA’s version of Hoover’s fingerprint file

FDA illus. WGS fingerprints

Editor’s note: This article was originally posted on FDA’s Consumer Updates page. A person commits a crime, and the detective uses DNA evidence collected from the crime scene to track the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne illness makes people sick, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down… Continue Reading

Takeda’s norovirus vaccine first to reach human trials

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A vaccine for the world’s most common cause of acute gastroenteritis and the USA’s most common cause of foodborne illness is now in human clinical trials. The trial by Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. involves the first norovirus vaccine prospect to enter human adult or efficacy trials. Rob Goodwin, vice president and global norovirus program head for… Continue Reading

Study finds outbreak and sporadic foodborne illnesses share traits

IFSAC logo

A study just published in Emerging Infectious Diseases compared characteristics of outbreak and sporadic, or non-outbreak, foodborne illnesses caused by four different pathogens and found evidence that most were similar regarding patients’ illness severity, gender and age. The team of scientists from the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) looked at human illnesses in the U.S. from… Continue Reading

Follow the money: Reducing risk vs. increasing costs

Opinion

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Healthcare providers, caregivers, researchers and suppliers gathered at the 43rd annual meeting of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology (APIC) in Charlotte, NC, June 11-13. The theme was “Inspiring Innovation in Infection Prevention” and attendees discussed how evidenced-based research can resolve the recurring riddle of risk versus budgets for both foodservice and… Continue Reading

Researchers try to kill it, use it, and otherwise figure out E. coli

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Summer is usually seen as the peaking season for Escherichia coli, and this summer that may apply not only for recalls and outbreaks, but also research. The Gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacterium commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms is a frequent target of laboratory research that gets published during the summer. So… Continue Reading

Research finds some E. coli survive cooking temperatures

Professor Lynn McMullen

In the wide, wide world of Escherichia coli, some might say the pathogen will eventually survive fire and others might say it will survive ice. But more important than any of that is the need to cook hamburger to more than 160 degrees and always use that meat thermometer. A June 2 news release about some otherwise… Continue Reading

Privately funded food safety lab opens at Cornell University

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A new food safety lab opened April 29 on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, NY, funded by a $250,000 pledge from the Rich Family Foundation. The foundation is affiliated with Rich Products Corp., a global food supplier based in Buffalo, NY. The idea behind the new 1,400-square-foot Rich’s Food Safety Lab is to partner with the… Continue Reading