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State and Local Food and Agriculture Labs

Validation of Gold Nanoparticle DNA-based Biosensors for the Detection of Non-PCR Amplified Bacterial Food Borne Pathogens in Food Matrices

Principal Investigator: 
Sylvia Vetrone
Since the intentional distribution of Bacillus anthracis spores through the US postal system in 2001, the prospect of bioterrorism in food, water, and agriculture has identified critical needs in prevention, protection, and mitigation for homeland security. Towards that end, we recently...

Foodborne Disease Outbreak Response: Assessing the Legal Framework for Interagency Sharing of Information

Principal Investigator: 
Kerry Wyss
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and its members are uniquely positioned to investigate and identify processes for improving information sharing among state, territorial, and local health agencies and the federal government. Incorporated in 1942, ASTHO is the...

Training for Restoration Planning: How to develop a Recovery Plan for Food Processors after an Intentional Contamination Event

Principal Investigator: 
Mark Cosby
Food processors are well versed in the aspects of preparedness, prevention, and response to contamination and product recalls through Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) training, and interactions with federal, state, and local regulatory...

Analyzing Ingredient-Product Relationships to Enhance Traceability

Principal Investigator: 
John Ambrosiano
Ingredients commonly used within a particular group of products could potentially be targeted by terrorists to intentionally contaminate many foods simultaneously. Additionally, specialty ingredients, or those having only a few suppliers, could be preferentially chosen because of their potential to...

Novel Methods for Detection of Clostridium botulinum and Botulinum Neurotoxin in Complex Food Matrices

Principal Investigator: 
Eric Johnson
Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the most potent biological agent known. It poses a major bioweapon and bioterrorism threat, especially in the food chain, such as in milk, juice (e.g., carrot and orange juice), various low acid foods, and water. Although much effort has been spent on...

Simultaneous detection of multiple food safety threat agents using multiplex PCR and PCR-based microarray approaches

Principal Investigator: 
Woubit Salah Abdela
Food-borne pathogens cause millions of clinical illnesses every year and cost billions of dollars to manage and control. Several recent examples including Salmonella enterica serovar Saintpaul in produce, Escherichia coli O157:H7 in ground beef, Listeria monocytogenes in ready to eat meat have led...

Protein Complementation Based Functional Detection Assay for Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B

Principal Investigator: 
Jody Proescher
Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) is a significant cause of foodborne enteric illness and a potential biowarfare agent. A need exists for more rapid and sensitive methods to test food samples for SEB contamination with minimal sample manipulation and without complex instrumentation. A novel non-...

Development of Nontoxigenic Clostridium botulinum Toxins and Strains for Food Defense Studies (Surrogates)

Principal Investigator: 
Eric Johnson
Clostridium botulinum produces the most poisonous toxin known and is a potential major biodefense threat in various food systems. To ensure defense measures against intentional foodborne and inhalational botulism, it will be extremely valuable to have non-toxic surrogates of botulinum neurotoxin...

Melamine-Cyanuric Acid Detection System for Purposely Adulterated Foods

Principal Investigator: 
Lawrence Wackett
Melamine (2,4,6-triamino-1,3,5-triazine) has been used on numerous occasions by individuals as a food adulterant to boost the apparent nitrogen content of food. Together with cyanuric acid, melamine causes acute kidney failure. In the recent infant formula incident, 150,000 children were...

Determination of Y. pseudotuberculosis Survival in Milk under Temperature Stresses

Principal Investigator: 
Teshome Yehualaeshet
Based on the potential for intentional use of Yersinia to contaminate the food supply and its ability to grow even in refrigerated foods, this study focuses on developing a protocol for extracting PCRcompatible genomic DNA from the surrogate Y. pseudotuberculosis in spiked milk and to determine the...


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