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whole-genome sequencing

CDC closes flour/E. coli investigation; expects more illnesses

Federal health officials have concluded their investigation involving General Mills flour implicated in an E. coli outbreak that sickened at least 63 between December 2015 and now, but they say more people are expected to become ill. Both the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention again urged consumers nationwide… Continue Reading

Researchers develop tool using bacterial genomes to identify isolates

Thanks to some Cornell University scientists, the food industry has a new tool for identifying specific isolates behind foodborne illness which utilizes the genomes of Bacillus cereus. The study was published Aug. 9 in the journal BMC Genomics. “Examining the whole genome of the B. cereus group is a more reliable tool for identifying risks associated with… Continue Reading

IAFP 2016 — Raw labels and better cooking instructions are not enough

ST. LOUIS — Manufacturers of raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned stuffed chicken products should expect a visit this summer by inspectors from the field operations office of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). According to FSIS scientist Jennifer Sinatra, the visits are part of the agency’s continuing regulatory activities, with inspectors looking at processes used to produce… Continue Reading

Recalled flour didn’t just go to retailers, restaurants

General Mills Inc. and federal officials have been working together to account for recalled flour that has been linked to an E. coli outbreak and that was sent to food producers in addition to retailers and restaurants. Neither the company nor government has included information about the flour sent to food producers in published recall… Continue Reading

CDC sending states new outbreak tool; launching PulseNet 2.0

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

Good and bad news about Salmonella in retail meat, poultry

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

2 million base pairs later: CDC stands by DNA evidence

Last month, when health officials reported they discovered a pathogenic connection between raw milk from a Pennsylvania dairy and two illnesses in 2014 — one in California and the other in Florida — a wave of disbelief and condemnation began rippling out from the raw milk community. News stories about the announcement from the Centers… Continue Reading

Don’t Forget the Epidemiology: Unraveling a Five-Year Listeria Outbreak

It’s not every day that you see an outbreak of foodborne illness spanning five years. But that’s what happened with a Listeria outbreak first announced 10 days ago by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Just last month, it was whole-genome sequencing that connected together the 24 illnesses reaching back to 2010. But good… Continue Reading

IAFP 2015: Interview with Lawrence Goodridge, Professor and Salmonella Researcher

Food Safety News sat down with McGill University Associate Professor Lawrence Goodridge, Ph.D., at IAFP 2015 in Portland, OR, in late July to discuss Salmonella and his team’s new $10-million research project aimed at significantly enhancing our understanding of the bacterium. Watch the interview here, or skip below for highlights from the conversation: Highlights from… Continue Reading

McGill Food Safety Team Gets $10 Million for Salmonella Research

A food safety team at Montreal’s McGill University has been awarded $10 million for a study intended to answer remaining questions about Salmonella and how food growers can better prevent its contamination. The research team, led by McGill Food Safety Associate Professor Lawrence Goodridge, Ph.D., will first sequence the genomes of 4,500 isolates from the 2,500 known Salmonella serotypes —… Continue Reading