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Rice University spore research could boost food safety efforts

Rice University researchers

Deciphering how bacteria respond to stress could yield new clues for combating food spoilage and for controlling foodborne pathogens, and that goal is closer now that a team led by Rice University bioengineering researchers has decoded the mechanism that some bacteria use to make life-or-death decisions during extremely tough times. The new study, published online Monday… Continue Reading

Researchers find nanoparticles in 6 of 6 U.S. baby formulas tested

Looking more like an overhead view of garden stones and shrubs, this highly magnified photo shows nano titanium dioxide and silicon dioxide found in baby formula in the U.S.

Recent research has detected potentially harmful nanoparticles in six out of six popular infant formulas tested. Not surprisingly, this has triggered yet more concern about the safety of these engineered particles, which are added to some of the foods we eat. The products tested were Gerber Good Start Gentle, Gerber Good Start Soothe, Enfamil, Similac… Continue Reading

CDC sending states new outbreak tool; launching PulseNet 2.0

Robert Tauxe, director of the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   was among the speakers at the 18th annual Food Safety Summit.

CHICAGO — The federal government is rolling out a powerful new, and increasingly affordable food safety weapon to about 30 states next year and to all 50 within two years. Dr. Robert Tauxe, who runs the foodborne, waterborne and environmental disease division of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, told attendees at the… Continue Reading

The future is now for America’s food safety programs

A town hall style question and answer session at the 18th annual Food Safety Summit on Thursday included (from left) Joe Corby of the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), Robert Tauxe of the CDC, David Goldman of the USDA and Mike Taylor of the FDA.

CHICAGO — Optimism was running high at the Food Safety Summit Thursday when four heavy hitters took the stage for a town hall session where 2016 was characterized as a tipping point. Advances in science and technology are combining with legislative and regulatory changes to catapult the country into a new era where Americans will… Continue Reading

Collaboration common theme among food safety honorees

NSF Food Safety Aware presenters and honorees at the 18th annual Food Safety Summit are (from left):  presenter Shelly Feist of the Partnership for Food Safety; honorees  John Butts, Judy Harrison, Gary Acuff, who accepted the award for Purnendu C. Vasavada; and  presenter Lori Stephens, of NSF International.

CHICAGO — More than 70 combined years of food safety advocacy and research by John Butts and Purnendu Vasavada was recognized with Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 18th annual Food Safety Summit today. The annual Food Safety Leadership Award for Training and Education went to Judy A. Harrison, professor and Extension food safety specialist at… Continue Reading

Alaska tribe establishes Sitka lab to test shellfish for biotoxins

Sitka lab guys

The Sitka Tribe of Alaska has set up an environmental research and testing lab in Sitka and plans to begin testing local shellfish for biotoxins this spring. There has reportedly been some concern about the distance and turnaround time to have locally harvested shellfish tested in Anchorage by the state, which currently operates the only FDA-certified lab in… Continue Reading

USDA offers $6 million for antimicrobial resistance research

USDAbuilding_406x250

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making $6 million available for research into antimicrobial resistance and has set an Aug. 3 deadline for grant proposals. The funding comes from the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and is administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (AFRI). “Through our Antimicrobial Resistance… Continue Reading

Good and bad news about Salmonella in retail meat, poultry

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-salmonella-concept-illustration-depicting-sign-image35373118

A new interim report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) measuring antimicrobial resistance in Salmonella isolated from raw retail meat and poultry found both encouraging and concerning trends. The report included whole-genome sequencing data for the first time, FDA noted, and analyzed data from January 2014 through June 2015 collected through the National Antimicrobial… Continue Reading

Canadian research finds that soy can limit growth of Listeria

Raw soybeans in bowls

Recent research from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, has found that soy can limit the growth of some bacteria, such as Listeria and Pseudomonas, and that it does it better than chemical-based agents. “Current synthetic-based, chemical-based anti-microbial agents kill bacteria indiscriminately, whether they are pathogenic or beneficial,” researcher Suresh Neethirajan, Ph.D, told CBC News…. Continue Reading

Is that the answer blowin’ in the wind, or pathogen drift?

Free-manure

“The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.” — Bob Dylan The question in the case of food safety is: “What’s blowing in the wind?” Turns out it can be dangerous pathogens such as E. coli, Campylobacter and Salmonella when manure is spread on the land, which is a common agricultural practice. At least that’s… Continue Reading