December 5, 2016

Spray-on DNA Bar Codes May be Coming to Produce

A California company called DNATrek is marketingĀ a spray-on DNA barcode that could help track the origins of pathogenic bacteria during a food poisoning outbreak related to produce. Discovering the origin of the contamination is key to preventing further illnesses and alerting the public who may have purchased the contaminated product. The technology was developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and is licensed to DNATrek. Grocery stores get shipments of produce from all over the country and the world. Many distributors are involved in the supply chain, so traceback can be very difficult, especially since packing boxes with identifying information are quickly thrown away after the produce is shelved in the store. The contamination could have occurred in the field, during … [Read more...]

FoodNet Surveillance Shows Increase in Campylobacter and Vibrio Infections

In its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released numbers of the incidence and trends of infection of foodborne illness pathogens from 1996 to 2012. The report, called the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), shows that for 2012, a total of 19,531 infections, 4,563 hospitalizations, and 68 deaths associated with foodborne disease were reported. (These are the illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths that were confirmed linked to a certain food. Most foodborne illness cases are unreported to the government.) FoodNet conducts active, population-based surveillance for laboratory-confirmed infections caused by Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, Listeria, Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli … [Read more...]

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