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US: Modern outbreak detection challenges produce food safety

Electrophoresis after genome amplification (CC BY 2.0) Umberto Salvagnin

Photo: Umberto Salvagnin / Flickr, CC BY 2.0

The Packer: DNA fingerprinting and other scientific methods — as well as social media — are changing the face of food illness outbreaks.

Panelists participating in an Oct. 23 food safety workshop at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit learned that and as scientific methods which can link foodborne illness cases in Oregon to one in the middle of the country, social media can link rare and sporadic spoilage issues.

Before 1997, investigators usually detected one listeria outbreak every three years; from 1997-2013, they detected up to three outbreaks a year.

With the advent of genome sequencing, up to eight outbreaks a year are now detected, said Martin Wiedmann, Gellert Family professor of food safety in Cornell University’s department of food science.

Click here to read the full article from The Packer.