The World Health Organization is encouraging all countries to look at how whole genome sequencing  can be used to improve their foodborne disease surveillance and response system.

Used as part of such a system, whole genome sequencing (WGS) can increase the speed with which illnesses and food contamination are detected and the detail in which…

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

There have been 3,538 laboratory confirmed Norovirus infections in the United Kingdom this fall and winter, according to new figures from the Health Protection Agency. This number marks an 83 percent increase from the number of cases recorded over the same time period last year, says the group. Almost 500 of this year’s cases…

After two nationwide Salmonella outbreaks linked to ground turkey sickened at least 148 people last year, the federal government has decided to implement stricter pathogen controls for raw ground poultry products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Wednesday in a policy statement that all manufacturers of raw ground turkey…

New tests that detect common foodborne pathogens more rapidly are less likely to trace contamination to the source, since they provide less specific information than older, slower tests, say public health officials. As a consequence, sources of foodborne illnesses outbreaks will not be identified as quickly, state epidemiologists told the Scientific American in a report

Over the past three years, scientists at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have conducted whole genome sequencing on over hundreds of foodborne pathogens to get a detailed map of their DNA. Now, with the help of university researchers and a private company, they’re expanding that figure to 100,000. The initiative, aptly titled “The 100K…

The discovery of Salmonella in bagged organic baby spinach that led to a nationwide recall Tuesday has been attributed to a small government testing program that, ironically, is set to be eliminated in the 2013 federal budget plan. 

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The Microbiological Data Program, a network of 11 labs that screen fresh produce for pathogens, discovered the …