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Departments: The Microbiology of Cereals and Cereal Products

Bacteria are frequent surface contaminants of cereal grains. For bacteria to grow in cereal grains, they require high moisture or water activity (aw) in equilibrium, with high relative humidity. Generally, bacteria are not significantly involved in the spoilage of dry grain and become a spoilage factor only after extensive deterioration of the grain has occurred and high moisture conditions exist. However, bacterial pathogens and spoilage bacteria, such as spore-forming bacteria that cause ropiness in...

Columns: Red, Yellow, Green, Go

Cultivating behavior change requires a specific communication strategy. The objectives of this strategy are to ensure that food employees and managers throughout the facility are familiar with food safety standards, their role in maintaining these standards, and the consequences of not maintaining these standards.

Features: Budget Cuts Could Gut New Food Safety Law

The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 was signed into law in January after months of wrangling– but now the law and other food safety enforcement efforts face new challenges. House Republicans aim to slash the federal budget, and two of their targets for spending cuts are the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Current proposals would cut $88 million from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and $241 million overall from the...

Features: Chinese Poultry Rule Stirs Controversy

As signs point toward a move by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to permit importation of Chinese processed poultry products to the U.S., some question whether this would be a good idea.

Features: Swifter Salmonella Test

The first commercially available real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for Salmonella enteritidis (SE) in poultry eggs provides results in just 27 hours, ten times faster than the 10-day turnaround available with conventional testing methods, according to the manufacturer, Life Technologies Corp.

Features: BSE in the Air?

Prions, the infectious proteins that cause lethal neurological diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cows and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, can be transmitted in aerosol form, according to new research conducted by a team of scientists from the University of Zurich in Switzerland and the University of Tübingen in Germany (Haybaeck J, Heikenwalder M, Klevenz B, et al. Aerosols transmit prions to immunocompetent and immunodeficient mice. PLoS Pathog. 2011;7(1): e1001257.)

Features: Speeding Safer Shellfish

A new test for dangerous shellfish toxins, developed by scientists at Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland, speeds up the usual process for detecting these toxins from about 48 hours to 30 minutes.

Features: USDA Food Safety Expert Outlines Plan

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will focus on “science-based food safety” as well as laws, regulations, and policies that are anchored in prevention,

Features: High Pressure Processing Renders Yogurt Sweet and Safe

Spanish researchers report that high-pressure processing (HPP) technology can effectively inactivate contaminants such as bacteria, molds, and yeasts in dairy foods like yogurt.

Features: Spotlighting Unsafe Shellfish

Seafood contaminated by “red tides” and other toxic algae is hazardous to eat, often producing gastrointestinal problems and other symptoms, but it’s difficult to differentiate a contaminated batch of seafood from one that is free of such toxins.

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August/September 2014

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