In addition to routine screening for harmful pathogens, bacterial species identification and further strain differentiation play an important role in food safety and quality investigations. These methods can offer an immediate classification of an existing or new problem in a given facility. Additionally, the resulting data gives manufacturers the ability to track contamination strains and map the bacterial flora present within their facility in order to monitor raw materials, surfaces, finished product and overall sanitation effectiveness. Continue Reading

It’s no secret that consumers are continually seeking out healthier foods, with a particular emphasis lately on organic foods, dairy-free or meat-free alternatives and products free of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). But should you make a non-GMO claim on your food label? The answer lies in understanding consumer motivations for purchasing one product over another. While these trends are not new, non-GMO claims specifically have been on the rise as top motivators of consumer food choice over the past few years. Continue Reading

In 2016, various high profile recalls and minor scale recalls threatened the public safety of consumers across North America. Although it’s impossible to eliminate human error, and thus recalls entirely, it is paramount to understand the direct economic impact of recalls and related risks. Likewise, there are extensive efforts made by regulatory agencies to support food manufacturers as a supplement to the efforts your company should be making to ensure you remain off the recall lists in 2017. Continue Reading

A majority of consumers find the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) debate complex and confusing, especially with regulations varying from country to country. With the growing push to eat more “all natural” and “organic” foods comes increased concerns about products that are manufactured with genetically modified ingredients, irregardless of concrete evidence that GMOs are either good or bad for human health.

After months of debate in Congress, President Barack Obama signed a bill into law requiring the labeling of food containing genetically modified ingredients on July 29th. To make more sense of the new law, below is a brief list of the main takeaways from the legislation: Continue Reading

Over the past decade, the food testing industry has adopted new methods and strategies to reduce turn-around-time and the total duration of testing methods. In addition to the tests themselves, many other factors must be considered when referencing total turn-around-time and the amount of time spent by your staff in filling out and submitting laboratory testing forms.

For a majority of laboratories, turn-around-time begins when the sample is received to start testing. Turn-around-time can be reduced logistically by the use of expedited shipping services and couriers, but the laboratory itself must manage processing the samples in a timely fashion once they hit the laboratory door. Continue Reading

Campylobacter Background:

Campylobacter is a less commonly known organism that has quickly become an emerging hot topic in food microbiology in recent years due to various recalls, news articles and evolving government regulations. Surprisingly, this genus of spiral-shaped, microaerophilic bacteria is the most commonly reported bacterial cause of gastroenteritis from foodborne sources in the United States, outranking E. coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus and other more well known microorganisms.   Continue Reading

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for family, friends, good health, and of course food. Lots of food! Most families have mastered the preparation of the main dishes, whether it’s through sacred family recipes, or certain family members preparing their signature dishes.  The traditional Thanksgiving staples of turkey, stuffing (a.k.a. dressing), and pie, while tasty and healthy in their own rights, are normally the main focus of the evening. As a change of pace, this year you might want to consider giving added attention to some of the traditional ingredients from the most important sections of the food pyramid: Fruits and Vegetables!  Continue Reading

Cronobacter, an emerging opportunistic foodborne pathogen, is posing an increased risk to the health of neonates, persons with immunocompromising conditions, the elderly, and even healthy adolescents and adults. This gram-negative, anaerobic, motile, and rod shaped bacteria exists in the environment and can survive in a variety of dry conditions. Due to the rarity of infections and wide variety of symptoms caused by Cronobacter, the bacterium is under-reported and not well understood in the United States. Continue Reading