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Research Spotlight: Fishy Business

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

This project conducted a comprehensive assessment of fish substitution in the Minnesota retail marketplace by (1) sampling 4 species at retail and performing DNA barcode analysis to evaluate the authenticity of labeling, (2) documenting the supply chain for each fish sample, and (3) performing a qualitative assessment of regulatory, retail, and consumer knowledge and opinions of fish fraud. The results can inform evidence-based policy making and public health efforts.

Webinar - Emerging Issues Research: Ebola and the Food System

Monday, September 21, 2015

The ongoing outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is the largest in history. A sustained outbreak of this magnitude has the potential to create new opportunities for pathways of human transmission previously thought to be unrealistic, including pathways involving the food system. This webinar will present findings from research performed by the Food Protection and Defense Institute and collaborators to rapidly evaluate the risk of Ebola transmission in the United States via three routes originating in West Africa: food commodities, imported wildlife, and illegal bushmeat.

Current Issue Report: Egg Shortages and the Potential for EMA

Monday, September 21, 2015

The 2014-2015 outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza began in December of 2014 and continues to threaten the United States’ supply of eggs and egg products. This outbreak has affected approximately 50 million birds, comprising 10% of the country’s laying hens. FPDI developed this Current Issues Report to inform stakeholders and consumers about one of the potential downstream effects to our food system, economically motivated adulteration of eggs.

Introducing the Food Protection and Defense Institute

Monday, September 14, 2015

Dear Friends and Collaborators – We have a new name!

The National Center for Food Protection and Defense would like to introduce you to the next iteration of our Homeland Security Center of Excellence: the Food Protection and Defense Institute. Over the past few years,...

Webinar - Recent Developments in EMA/Food Fraud Research and Tools

Friday, September 11, 2015

The problems of economically motivated adulteration (EMA) and food fraud have received increasing attention over recent years, particularly in anticipation of the release of the final rules resulting from the Food Safety Modernization Act. This presentation will highlight recent developments in EMA research and tools at the National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD), the University of Minnesota, and United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Dr. Phelps will present the findings of a research project to assess the local retail market for fish fraud using DNA barcoding of retail fish samples combined with supply chain mapping. Dr. Moore will discuss a food fraud mitigation framework developed by USP that can be used by industry to evaluate the vulnerability of ingredients to fraud. Finally, Dr. Everstine will present two databases that catalog the history of food fraud and can be used to inform food fraud vulnerability assessments.

Food Protection Message - August 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

Release of the Food Safety Modernization Act rules seems to be part of every work conversation I have had in the last 45 days. Hypothesis about what is in the upcoming rules and lots of entertaining conversation and water cooler bets about when the rules will be released.

Exploring the World of Food Protection as a Summer Intern

Thursday, August 27, 2015

On June 5, 2015, I was considering the great opportunity I had that would indulge my passion for science as a summer intern at the National Center for Food Protection and Defense at the University of Minnesota. But I was also thinking about how to confront all the things I had to sacrifice for my new life experience. Quitting my two jobs and leaving my husband behind would not be easy. On the other hand, the experience and knowledge that I would acquire in addition to the enrichment in science would be a great benefit for my future career. These facts were more than enough to accept the challenge.  

Food Fraud Vulnerability: Cocoa and the Ebola Outbreak

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Economically motivated adulteration (EMA) of food, otherwise known as “food fraud,” is the intentional adulteration or misrepresentation of food for economic gain. Food fraud increases risks to public health, hampers quality assurance programs, and removes the consumer’s ability to make informed food choices. Food safety programs are not enough to reduce the risk of food fraud, since it is an intentional act. Many different factors can affect the risk of a food product or ingredient to fraud, including factors that cause supply shortages, price hikes, or otherwise affect the supply chain. One recent example is the Ebola outbreak centered in West Africa.

Meet FPDI: Tim Boyer, PhD, Epidemiologist

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dr. Tim Boyer is one of the Center's resident Epidemiologists. Tim joined FPDI after completing his PhD student work on evaluation of methods to measure antibiotic resistance in livestock and methods of analyzing resistance data.

Meet FPDI: Amanda Moren, CoreSHIELD Specialist

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Amanda Moren is a CoreSHIELD Specialist on our IT team. She manages FoodSHIELD memberships and overall functionality. She is an invaluable resource on CoreSHIELD portal knowledge, assists project managers with specific tasks, and provides webinar and seminar support to FoodSHIELD members.