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Articles by Keyword - Microbiology

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Departments: Reducing Risk of Microbial Contamination

It seems the mainstream media’s attention on the food industry gets more critical with each new headline, making the issue of ensuring food safety more important than ever.

Features: A Key Figure in Food Safety

Mention the name Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), and most people think of the pasteurization process he invented to prevent beverage spoilage. But Pasteur was a true renaissance man, researching, teaching chemistry and physics, and ultimately making discoveries that revolutionized fields such as agriculture, hygiene, and industry.

Departments: Tools For Better Food Safety Testing

Is our food really safe? The plethora of contamination events over the past few years certainly begs the question. The first major contamination event occurred in 1998 when Sara Lee recalled 35 million pounds of various meat products. Recalls were pretty quiet for about eight years, and then…

News: Study Finds Many Foodborne Illnesses Not Reported

Food safety problems can arise at any of multiple stages of food production, and illnesses that result from them are frequently not detected or reported, according to a new report from the American Academy of Microbiology.

Features: Food Microbiology Marches On

Napoleon wanted to conquer the world, but he knew, as his famous quote aptly states, “an army travels on its stomach.” To be sure his men had safe rations, he offered a 12,000-franc prize to anyone who could come up with a food preservation method. Nicolas Appert, the chef and distiller who ultimately claimed the prize, spent more than a decade discovering that boiled foods placed in airtight glass containers would not spoil. In 1810, Peter Durand, a British merchant who received a patent for...

Columns: Mmmm … Bacon

The end of the year is always an opportunity to make lists of things like the top news stories of the year, the top scientific breakthroughs, and other great advances. But when a decade is ending, the lists come even more fast and furious.

Departments: Smaller, Stronger, Faster Labs

In these non-Dickensian times, the availability of food is not as much of an issue as concerns about food safety. Food is pouring in from all over the world, but ensuring its safety is a complex task. Food safety is inherently bound up in issues related to time, such as how long it takes to detect a problem or contaminant. And because time is money, there’s money to be made—or granted—in exploring the future of rapid detection.

Features: Food Quality Jets Into the Future

Remember “The Jetsons?” The wildly popular animated series rocketed onto the primetime television scene on September 23, 1962. Set mainly in sky-high Orbit City, the captivating show featured George Jetson, his boy Elroy, daughter Judy, and Jane, his wife, living the life of an average family in the year 2062. Residing in Skypad Apartments and employing a lovable maid named Rosie the Robot, the Jetsons introduced impressionable Earthlings to a galaxy of futuristic flying space cars, instant...

Features: Pathogen Detection at the Speed of Light

Many people believe nothing is certain in life but death and taxes. Daniel Y.C. Fung, PhD, professor of food microbiology at Kansas State University, adds another certainty to the list: "Food processors must get accurate results from tests to detect pathogens in raw materials. This holds true regardless of the technology employed, the time involved, or the cost. A rapid test giving bad results is not good whatsoever."

Features: Predict Safety

Predictive food microbiology, a well-established subdiscipline of food microbiology used for nearly 100 years, is reemerging. Its progress and impact on food safety practices and hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) systems will require the cooperation of industry, academia, and regulatory agencies.

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June/July 2014

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