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Features: ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Sprouts Can Be Safe
Larger producers provide model for success by adhering to 1999 FDA guidelines
Plans to cut approximately 100 food inspector positions from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency over the next three years—a move projected to save the agency some $56 million—may not have as much impact on the nation’s food safety as has been claimed, according to one Canadian microbiologist and food safety expert.
A compound commonly found in garlic kills Campylobacter jejuni, one of the most common causes of foodborne illness, better than antibiotics, according to researchers at Washington State University in Pullman.
The FDA’s proposed guidance document for the use of nanomaterials as food additives is “a step in the right direction,” said a leading nanotechnology expert, but ultimately leaves the decision about whether or not to consult with the FDA in the hands of industry.
Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have identified certain serotypes of Salmonella—among the more than 2,500 strains known to exist—that have the capacity to become “hypervirulent” during the infective process in animals.
By attaching pathogen-specific antibodies to vanishingly small gold nanoparticles—so minuscule that 25,000 would fit across the width of a human hair—scientists at Jackson State University in Mississippi can detect various strains of Salmonella with a simple five-minute test.
Features: The zNose Knows Ripeness
An electronic nose may hold the secrets to melon ripeness and could provide the answer much more quickly than the previous scientific method—gas chromatography—which takes up to an hour to analyze a single sample.
Livestock experts, consumer groups and the food industry are awaiting a response from the FDA on the use of certain antibiotics, including tetracyclines and penicillin, in animal feed, in the wake of a ruling that the FDA must withdraw approval for the use of these antimicrobials unless the manufacturers can prove their safety for this purpose.
Foodborne pathogens attach to fruits in different ways depending on their ripeness, according to researchers from Imperial College London, who presented their work at the Society for General Microbiology’s Spring Conference in Dublin, Ireland, in late March.
Features: Outbreaks Spur Rapid STEC Tests
First implicated in a 1993 U.S. outbreak caused by undercooked ground beef, the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) known as O157:H7 has become a familiar term associated with foodborne illness.