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THE HEPATITIS A VIRUS – an overlooked cause of foodborne disease

THE HEPATITIS A VIRUS – an overlooked cause of foodborne disease

| April 21, 2015

Bacteria are by far the most common and best known causes of foodborne illness in the developed world and the food industry is well aware of the risks presented by Salmonella, E. coli O157 and other bacterial pathogens. But there are also a small group of disease-causing viruses that can be transmitted by contaminated food. […]

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A QUESTION OF CONFIDENCE – how food microbiology labs can ensure their results are reliable

A QUESTION OF CONFIDENCE – how food microbiology labs can ensure their results are reliable

| November 18, 2014

Supply chains have become ever longer and more complex as food production has developed into a truly global industry. The need to monitor the safety of food at every stage means that microbiological testing remains a key weapon in the fight against food contamination and the volume of testing undertaken continues to grow. Today’s laboratories […]

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HOW CLEAN IS CLEAN? – Rapid food hygiene monitoring methods

HOW CLEAN IS CLEAN? – Rapid food hygiene monitoring methods

| September 16, 2014

The HACCP-driven hygiene procedures in place in modern food production facilities are an essential part of ensuring safety and quality in the food supply chain. Clean food handling and processing equipment is a prerequisite for good hygiene, but the effectiveness of cleaning must also be monitored and recorded.

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ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE – a global food safety problem

ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE – a global food safety problem

| September 23, 2013

The development of antibiotics in the 1940s led to a revolution in the treatment of infectious diseases. But after more than 60 years of use and misuse, many antibiotics have lost much of their effectiveness as bacteria develop resistance to them. This situation has arisen partly as a result of overuse in clinical medicine, but […]

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CONTROLLING FOOD ALLERGENS

CONTROLLING FOOD ALLERGENS

| June 10, 2013

The issue of food allergy has become an increasingly important one for the food industry over the last ten years. The prevalence of allergic reactions to certain foods seems to be increasing in the population and legislation has been introduced requiring food businesses to label foods containing major allergens. This has created a significant new […]

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NAMING THE GUILTY – identifying the causes of food poisoning outbreaks

NAMING THE GUILTY – identifying the causes of food poisoning outbreaks

| November 26, 2012

When an outbreak of foodborne infection is reported, one of the most important tasks facing investigators is to identify the microorganism responsible. But determining the species is often not enough. Outbreak strains of bacteria or viruses need to be characterised (typed and subtyped) in much greater detail, both to confirm that suspected cases are linked, […]

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ACRYLAMIDE UPDATE – a progress report on how the food industry is tackling this contaminant

ACRYLAMIDE UPDATE – a progress report on how the food industry is tackling this contaminant

| November 24, 2010

It is now more than eight years since Swedish researchers announced their discovery that a potentially carcinogenic contaminant, acrylamide, could be produced in significant amounts during high temperature processing of starchy foods like bread, French fries and crisps. The finding was greeted with alarm by food safety experts worldwide and led to an urgent flurry […]

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THE NATURAL ALTERNATIVE – antimicrobial compounds derived from nature as an alternative to synthetic preservatives in food

THE NATURAL ALTERNATIVE – antimicrobial compounds derived from nature as an alternative to synthetic preservatives in food

| September 7, 2010

Preservatives have been on the receiving end of some very negative publicity in recent years to the extent that the phrase “contains no preservatives” has become a positive selling point for some foods. However unfair that may be, consumers and hence retailers are becoming increasingly unwilling to accept products with a shelf life maintained by […]

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SOMETHING IN THE AIR – techniques for monitoring airborne microorganisms

SOMETHING IN THE AIR – techniques for monitoring airborne microorganisms

| November 19, 2009

Controlling levels of microbial contamination in the air around sensitive processing and packing operations has become an increasingly important part of hygienic food manufacturing in recent years. The use of high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtered ventilation systems is common and even self contained clean rooms now feature in some particularly vulnerable production processes. Despite this, […]

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A REVOLUTION IN THE MICROBIOLOGY LABORATORY

A REVOLUTION IN THE MICROBIOLOGY LABORATORY

| October 7, 2009

Until comparatively recently, the tools available to the food microbiologist were antiquated in comparison with those at the disposal of analytical chemistry and other disciplines. With a basic technology essentially unchanged for decades, food microbiologists were strictly limited in what they could achieve. After a long wait, the revolution in molecular biology that has already […]

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