Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption


CDC/FDA Partnership Targets Whole Genome Sequencing of Listeria Monocytogenes


This was originally published Nov. 25 in the APHLTech Blog. In a prior APHLTech blog post (NGS in Action: FDA’s Genome TRAKR Network), Victor Waddell of the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory described the newly formed network of laboratories formed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Known collectively as Genome TRAKR, the member… Continue Reading

Outbreak Detection Since Jack in the Box: A Public Health Evolution

In 1993, 623 people in the western U.S. fell ill with a little-known bacteria called E. coli O157:H7. Ultimately, four children would die from their infections; many others suffered long-term medical complications. The bug was later traced to undercooked hamburger served at Jack in the Box restaurants. This outbreak thrust foodborne illness onto the national stage… Continue Reading

Taking the Pulse of CDC’s PulseNet

This week at the annual meeting of the Association of Public Health Laboratories in Seattle, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – which operates PulseNet – explained the crucial role this pathogen database plays in outbreak detection and the challenges that must be met in order for it to remain effective.   … Continue Reading

New England E. coli Outbreak Expands

An outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 went beyond New England over the weekend to cast a shadow over 12 states, including three that are very distant from the Northeast, where most of the illnesses and two deaths have occurred. Lola Scott Russell, spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, said… Continue Reading

Genetic Testing

Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) PFGE was developed in 1984 and has since become the gold standard for bacterial subtyping.  PFGE is the primary subtyping method used by PulseNet, a network of public health laboratories that perform PFGE on foodborne disease organisms such as Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, Shigella (11), Listeria monocytogenes (7), and Campylobacter jejuni… Continue Reading