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FoodNet Report: Pathogen Infection Rates Still ‘Well Above’ Government Targets


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its latest report card on the trends in foodborne illnesses on Thursday, and, in general, not much has changed from previous years. According to the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), there were a total of 19,056 infections, 4,200 hospitalizations and 80 deaths reported in 2013…. Continue Reading

Keep Food Safety Out of AIB, Kansas State Proposal



(This was posted April 10, 2014, at barfblog.com and is reposted here by permission.) A former colleague at Kansas State University asked me yesterday if I would deliver my annual talk with summer public health students despite being unceremoniously dumped last year. I said, “Sure, I’ll always talk with students: they shouldn’t have to suffer from… Continue Reading

NSF Food Safety Leadership Awards Presented at Food Safety Summit

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Epidemiologist Bill Keene was posthumously awarded the 2014 NSF Food Safety Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award on Thursday at the Food Safety Summit in Baltimore, MD. Keene was a senior epidemiologist for the Oregon Public Health Division (OPHD) whose work involved breakthroughs on investigations into major foodborne illness outbreaks, including the spinach E. coli outbreak of… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Reason for Optimism



The place we call the “fourth estate” is pretty run-down. Its value crashed a while back, and it’s been pretty much in foreclosure. However, whatever bank holds the mortgage must not have enough interest to come around and put it completely out of its misery. Here in one of the electronic cottages on the property,… Continue Reading

Questions for the Environmental Working Group



A few weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued its annual Pesticide Data Program (PDP) report, which once again confirms that “residues do not pose a food safety concern.” Sadly, with the exception of Food Safety News, which covered the report in a March 10 story by Lydia Zuraw, very few in the media covered… Continue Reading

Study: Zapping Raw Eggs With Radio Waves Can Zap Salmonella


Raw chicken eggs are in many commonly consumed foods – eggnog, hollandaise sauce and mayonnaise, to name a few – and since about one of every 20,000 chicken eggs in the U.S. runs a high risk of containing Salmonella bacteria, the only way to be sure these bacteria are killed is to hard-boil the eggs… Continue Reading

Shining Light on Listeria Detection


The latest technology in foodborne pathogen detection involves a combination of bacteriophages and bioilluminating enzymes. Boston-based company Sample6 claims that its Bioillumination Platform is faster and more accurate than other assays used by the food industry to detect contamination before produce reaches store shelves. When co-founder Tim Lu was a graduate student, his research focused on bacteriophages –… Continue Reading

New Study Finds IBS More Common in Adults Who Had Salmonella as Children


Children who suffer Salmonella-induced gastroenteritis are more likely to develop irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) later in life, according to a new study released this month in the journal Gastroenterology. Italian researchers collected data from victims of a 1994 culture-proven foodborne Salmonella enteritidis outbreak that involved 1,811 patients in Bolognia, Italy. Study participants included a cohort… Continue Reading

Work Continues on Antimicrobial Solutions for Food Safety


Antimicrobial solutions are used to reduce contaminants on raw foods such as meats, vegetables and fruits. This is analogous to washing food prior to using it in one’s own kitchen, although these compounds enhance the washing action, says Martha Ewing, director of technical services at Sanderson Farms Inc. of Laurel, MS. Antimicrobial solutions have proven… Continue Reading

University Researchers Identify Five New Listeria Species

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Cornell University researchers have identified five new species of Listeria, including one named for the university, that provide new insights that could lead to better ways to detect soil bacteria in food. To date, of the 10 previously known species of Listeria, only two are pathogenic to humans. Listeria monocytogenes is the main cause of Listeriosis, which causes… Continue Reading