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Lab robots crucial for end-to-end food safety data systems

Opinion

Next generation sequencing is beginning to replace traditional DNA methods in food safety testing. As this trend continues, sequencing will no longer be the time intensive process it once was. Laboratories will be limited by how quickly they can prepare samples, not how quickly they can sequence them. Automation will, therefore, play an increasingly critical… Continue Reading

Briefly: Dating game — Info shortage — Down the drain

Every hour of every day people around the world are living with and working to resolve food safety issues. Here is a sampling of current headlines for your consumption, brought to you today with the support of Alchemy Systems. Ignoring the dates across the pond Billing it as a move to reduce food waste, 125 East of… Continue Reading

Researchers zap noro on fresh lettuce with blast of ionized gas

When you put one of the toughest bugs on the planet in a match-up with some of the most delicate fresh foods, it doesn’t take a Vegas mathematician to figure the odds are against the food making it through a sterilization process undamaged. Among the most delicate and most prone to carry foodborne illnesses are… Continue Reading

Center for Produce Safety reveals 10 research grants for 2016

Ten of the good guys and gals in the battle to defeat foodborne illness just got $2 million from the Center for Produce Safety to help with seek-and-destroy efforts focused on pathogens’ pathways to people via produce. While fresh fruits and vegetables are undeniably vital for good health, many of them pose a greater risk… Continue Reading

Chicken Flock Study on Salmonella Transmission Makes Novel Discovery

Despite Salmonella being the most common illness-causing foodborne bacteria in the U.S. food system, still very little is known about the precise processes through which the bacterium contaminates and transmits among its most pervasive carriers: chickens. New research from the University of Arkansas, however, is aiming to bridge the gap in knowledge about how Salmonella infects such a large percentage… Continue Reading

Study: Peanuts May Help to Ward Off Some Foodborne Illnesses

Eating the skinless inner kernels of peanuts may improve a person’s gut biota and its ability to ward off E. coli and Salmonella, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Maryland published in the Journal of Food Science. The findings suggest that skinless peanuts could be a beneficial promoter of gut bacteria that will outcompete… Continue Reading

Test Uses Low-Tech Litmus Paper to Detect E. Coli

Litmus paper, long known as a low-tech method of testing substances for acidity, might have a new use as a cheap, quick way to test for E. coli, according to researchers at McMaster University in Ontario. The researchers correlated levels of E. coli bacteria with pH values represented by the colors to which the litmus… Continue Reading

WHO Study Measures Global Burden of Listeria

In 2010, Listeria monocytogenes was estimated to infect 23,150 people worldwide. It killed 5,463 of them, or 23.6 percent, according to a new study by European researchers in the World Health Organization (WHO) published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. The researchers say that an urgent effort is needed to fill in information on Listeria infections… Continue Reading

Legislation Would Muzzle Science Teachers in Virginia

Science teachers in Virginia with an opinion about vaccines, raw milk, or genetically modified organisms in food would be best advised to keep their mouths shut under the currently proposed House Bill 207. Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton) is the “chief patron,” or sponsor, of the bill that local media suggest is probably aimed… Continue Reading

E. Coli Protein Study Could Help Advance Detection, Treatment

E. coli has earned its reputation as a deadly pathogen lurking in contaminated foods, but a multi-year study may give it some positive press as a source of medical knowledge and potential therapeutics. Researchers at Kansas State University are studying a protein secreted by E. coli bacteria that blocks functions of the body’s innate immune… Continue Reading