Food Safety & Quality Blog
Mérieux NutriSciences is dedicated to helping companies worldwide find practical solutions to today's food safety and quality challenges throughout the supply chain.

Technical Tuesday: Using Whole Genome Sequencing to Better Decode Listeria Outbreaks

Posted by L. Scott Donnelly, Ph.D

March 14, 2017 at 1:00 PM

whole_genome_sequencing_blog.jpgThe practice of whole genome sequencing (WGS) has received a great deal of attention in the food industry and among industry trade associations in recent years. Whole genome sequencing is a process that uses laboratory methods to determine or map the complete DNA sequence of an organism’s genome. Each microorganism has a unique genetic fingerprint that can be identified and traced using WGS. 

Disease detectives use WGS as an important tool in foodborne illness outbreaks and recall situations. It provides genetic information about the germs (microorganisms) making people sick. This information improves our ability to detect, investigate and stop future foodborne outbreaks.

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Topics: Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Control Program, Pathogens, Preventive Environmental Monitoring, Whole Genome Sequencing, Foodborne Illness, Listeria

Mérieux NutriSciences’ Scientist Publishes Food Safety Study in International Journal of Food Microbiology

Posted by Pam Coleman

February 16, 2017 at 10:00 AM

food_safety_study_blog.jpegI once jokingly said during a presentation that there were at least 10 ways to sabotage your food pathogen testing program. While no conscientious food safety leader would set out to negatively impact their own program, the high attention to detail and constant organizational discipline required for an effective testing program leave some room for error. If any small step is not well designed and expertly executed, then your entire program may be worthless - or worse - may cost you millions due to a recall or human illnesses. One factor in particular that manufacturers need to focus their attention on is the reliability of their pathogen sampling and compositing (pooling) strategy, as well as the applicability of their pathogen method. Specifically, what test portion should be taken to ensure accurate results, and what method should be used when testing for the presence of pathogens?

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Topics: Salmonella, Food Safety, Microbiology,, Food Testing, Research, Pathogens, International Journal of Food Microbiology, Sampling, Pathogen Testing

Regulatory Round-Up: Strategies for Controlling Listeria in Ready-To-Eat Foods

Posted by Patrick Kennedy

January 26, 2017 at 10:00 AM

rte regulatory blog.jpgIf you are subject to the final rule, Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food (PCHF rule), then you should be aware of FDA’s new recommendations for controlling Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat (RTE) foods. Manufacturers, processors, packers and holders of RTE foods will benefit from an understanding of the strategies and recommendations described within the new draft guidance. 

Released this month, the draft guidance sheds light on the agency’s thinking regarding effective strategies for controlling L. monocytogenes in RTE foods, including identifying the risks associated with raw materials and ingredients, listericidal process control, environmental monitoring, product testing, and the analysis of verification data trends.

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Topics: FDA Regulation Updates, FDA, Pathogens, Preventive Controls, Listeria, Ready-to-Eat Foods, CGMPs, Hazard Analysis

Technical Tuesdays: Essential Hazard Analysis - Understanding the Microbiological Profile of Ingredients

Posted by Jennifer Johnson

January 24, 2017 at 1:00 PM

shutterstock_540249184.jpgRequired under both the FDA and USDA-FSIS regulations, the Hazard Analysis is arguably the most important component of any food manufacturer’s food safety system. Unless identification of CCPs or Preventive Controls is based on a scientifically sound, properly-supported hazard analysis, hazards may not be adequately controlled. Since microbial hazards often represent the greatest potential food safety risk for food products, it’s critical to understand the microbiological profile of ingredients. This requires both general knowledge of hazards applicable to a particular ingredient and specific information on the ingredients sourced from your suppliers. 

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Topics: Pathogens, Food Production, Food Manufacturing, Mirobiology, Hazard Analysis, Ingredients

Preventive Environmental Monitoring for Pet Food Facilities

Posted by Stephanie A. Wilkins

October 26, 2016 at 1:00 PM

shutterstock_177594395.jpgA picture taken in the early 1980s shows me at age 3 eating dog treats out of my grandparents’ food pantry. I think back on that picture and recognize how things have changed in the last 30+ years when it comes to Food Safety, most recently for the Pet Food Industry. Environmental Monitoring or Product Testing Programs rarely existed back then, and the few that did exist lacked planning. If I had gotten sick from consuming contaminated pet food, my parents or doctors would never have assumed eating dog food/treats caused it.

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Topics: Environmental Monitoring, Pet Food, EnviroMap, Pathogens, Preventive Environmental Monitoring

Preventing Listeria and Other Pathogens in Food Production

Posted by Paige Krzysko

September 26, 2016 at 2:00 PM

dreamstime_m_79316.jpgIn preventing foodborne illnesses, several different factors play a pivotal role in safeguarding final products. Several recent recalls associated with Listeria monocytogenes are prompting food manufacturers to ensure their food safety management plans address all possible sources of in-plant contamination.

Listeria can be life-threatening to individuals with weakened immune systems, pregnant women or older adults. Dairy, prepared foods, produce and seafood were the matrices most commonly contaminated with Listeria over the past five years, according to data from the latest FDA Reportable Food Registry (RFR) report.

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Topics: Food Safety, Environmental Monitoring, Microbiology,, Food Testing, Pathogens


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