Foodborne Pathogens - Articles and news items

Structures of vegetable surfaces contribute to foodborne illness

Industry news  •  23 March 2016  •  Victoria White

Researchers have studied the ability of pathogenic viruses to adhere to fresh produce surfaces to understand the incidences of foodborne illness…

Experts gather to help tackle foodborne viruses

Industry news  •  29 February 2016  •  Victoria White

More than 130 leading experts on viruses in the food chain have taken part in the first International Workshop on Foodborne Viruses…

Viruses – An increasing hazard in meats?

Blogs  •  25 January 2016  •  Dr Roy Betts, Head of Microbiology, Campden BRI

Dr Roy Betts, Head of Microbiology at Campden BRI, discusses viruses in meat and considers the challenges facing implementation of control measures to limit contamination…

Study looks at salmonella survival in filled cookies

Industry news  •  23 December 2015  •  Victoria White

In a recent study prompted by an increased number of outbreaks in the US of foodborne diseases linked to dry foods, pathogens, like salmonella, were found to survive for at least six months in biscuits, cookies and crackers…

Campylobacteriosis and listeriosis cases rising in the EU

Industry news  •  22 December 2015  •  Victoria White

The latest annual report by EFSA and ECDC has found that human cases of listeriosis and campylobacteriosis rose once again in 2014, continuing an upward trend that began in 2008…

WHO estimates global burden of foodborne diseases

Industry news  •  4 December 2015  •  Victoria White

Almost one third of all deaths from foodborne diseases are in children under the age of 5 years, finds a World Health Organization report…

Bacteriophage treatment decontaminates infant formula

Industry news  •  6 November 2015  •  Victoria White

A phage has shown strong anti-microbial activity against a type of foodborne bacterium that often kills infants after infecting them via infant formula, C. sakazakii…

New method could eliminate illness outbreaks from spinach

Industry news  •  19 August 2015  •  Victoria White

Spinach or other leafy salad greens were responsible for 18 food-poisoning outbreaks in the US alone over the last decade…

Statisticians use social media to track foodborne illness

Industry news  •  18 August 2015  •  Victoria White

A biostatistician has developed a method for tracking foodborne illness and disease outbreaks in the US using social media sites such as Twitter and Yelp…

Pathogen uses alternative pathways to grow on cold smoked salmon

Industry news  •  6 August 2015  •  Victoria White

Listeria monocytogenes grows on refrigerated smoked salmon by way of different metabolic pathways from those it uses when growing on laboratory media…

UVC light can kill foodborne pathogens on fruits

Industry news  •  28 July 2015  •  Victoria White

Scientists have shown that ultraviolet C (UVC) light is effective against foodborne pathogens on the surface of certain fruits…

Ciguatera fish poisoning underreported in Florida

Industry news  •  30 June 2015  •  Victoria White

A new study has found that the number of people in Florida who are sickened by a rare, dangerous food-borne toxin, ciguatera, has been underreported…

Use of whole genome sequencing of food-borne pathogens for public health protection

Industry news  •  17 February 2015  •  European Food Safety Authority

About 90 leading scientists, representatives of international and European organisations and national food safety authorities gathered in Parma, Italy, to discuss the use of the whole genome sequencing of foodborne pathogens for the protection of public health…

Appropriate controls for PCR detection of foodborne pathogens

Issue 2 2012  •  30 April 2012  •  Martin D’Agostino, Microbiologist, The Food and Environment Research Agency

Over the years, there has been a great increase in the number of PCR based assays for foodborne pathogen detection. For example, a very basic search for ‘salmonella food PCR assay’ using the database will produce over 600 results. Clearly, this has led to a huge choice of PCR-based detection methods for analysts. This is especially so for analytical laboratories who choose to use non-proprietorial PCR-based methods, as opposed to commercially available complete PCR detection systems.

Since PCR-based assays are based on nucleic acid amplification, they are highly efficient, but they can also be negatively affected by the presence of food matrix-derived substances which can interfere or prevent the reaction from performing correctly. This is the case whether using a commercially available system, or a freely available non-proprietorial published method. Therefore, the use of appropriate and careful sample treatment must be applied or used to remove these inhibitory substances as much as is possible.

It must be noted however, that no sample treatment can be relied on completely, thus a suite of controls should be employed to verify that both the sample treatment and the PCR-based assay has performed correctly.


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