OPERATIONAL RESEARCH VISION
The Committee on Food Microbiology is committed to proactively improving the understanding and control of microbial food safety hazards to enable scientifically informed decision making. This is achieved through supporting sound science, sponsoring break-through research and fostering collaboration amongst academia, government, and industry.
New Request for Proposals - Pathogens in Low Water Activity Foods
The ILSI North America Technical Committee on Food Microbiology has released an RFP requesting pre-proposals for Research on Pathogens in Low Water Activity (aw) Foods. The Food Microbiology Committee’s interest in this RFP is to understand the survival of pathogens (Salmonella spp., C. sakazaki, L. monocytogenes, and viruses) in the dry food manufacturing environment and low aw products, and to develop techniques to define contaminated lots so as not to expose the consumer to risks associated with these pathogens.
The Food Microbiology Committee is requesting pre-proposals that define experimentation and protocols for research addressing one or more of the following topics (in no particular order):
- Optimization and validation of pathogen (bacterial and viral) inactivation in low aw foods (raw flour, protein powders, cereals, dairy powders, dried fruit)
- Survival of bacterial and viral pathogens in low aw foods (dried fruit, protein powders, dairy powders)
- Optimization and validation of dry sanitation methods which lead to validation of lot segregation/clean breaks procedures during Low aw manufacturing
Pre-proposals are due by 11:59 pm EDT on Monday 24 August. Please contact Delia Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
The committee sponsored 3 scientific sessions at IAFP 2014. Video of theses sessions can be found here.
- The Rise of the Genomes – How Whole Genome Sequencing Will Transform Food Safety
- Parasites in the Food Supply Chain: Emergence or Re-Emergence?
- Current Perspectives in Food Safety Roundtable
Additionally, four posters, on work sponsored by the committee, were also presented. More details about theses sessions at IAFP 2014 can be found here.
Watch Dr. Ponder present her work on the "Effect of Inoculation Method on the Survival of Salmonella Tennessee on Whole Black Peppercorns" at IAFP 2014.
Research Grants on Pathogen Reduction in Spices
The ILSI North America Technical Committee on Food Microbiology announced the recipients of research grants on pathogen reduction in spices: Dr. Monica Ponder of Virginia Tech and Dr. Gary Acuff of Texas A & M University. The Technical Committee on Food Microbiology is driving the research to establish standardized inoculation protocols and to validate surrogate organisms for industrial-scale spice treatments. The research endeavor is recently recognized in an article “Spicy, Flavorful, and Safe” in the August 2013 issue of Food Technology Magazine.
In advance of setting priorities for each new research cycle, the committee and its scientific advisors hold a research roundtable with representatives of the following federal and international agencies: the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the US Food and Drug Administration/Center for Food Safety and Nutrition (FDA/CFSAN); the US Food and Drug Administration/Office of Food and Veterinary Medicine and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of the USDA, European Food Safety Authority and Health Canada. The objective of these roundtable discussions is to identify emerging food microbiology research needs considered critical to public health.
Research Grant Cycles
Research Grant Cycle 2013-2015
The ILSI North America Technical Committee on Food Microbiology is pleased to announce the recipients of research grants on pathogen reduction in spices:
Monica Ponder, PhD, Virginia Tech
“Protocol and Surrogate Validation for the Inactivation of Salmonella on Spices”
Gary Acuff, PhD, Texas A & M University
“Correlation of Surrogate Bacteria and Salmonellae for Validation of Spice/Herb Pathogen Reduction Processes”
The spices and seasoning category is among the top three categories in Reportable Food Registry submissions for Salmonella in human foods over the past two years. In addition, most spices consumed in the US are imported from foreign suppliers that often lack the regulations or expertise to ensure the reduction of Salmonella to safe levels.
The Technical Committee on Food Microbiology is therefore driving the research to establish standardized inoculation protocols and to validate surrogate organisms for industrial-scale spice treatments. The American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) is providing an unrestricted grant to ILSI North America to help support the funding of the research projects.
The research endeavor by the Technical Committee on Food Microbiology is recently recognized in an article on the August 2013 issue of Food Technology Magazine.
Research Grant Cycle 2012-2014
Trevor Suslow, PhD, University of California, Davis
“On Farm Evaluation of the Prevalence of Human Enteric Bacterial Pathogens during the Production of Melons in California and Arizona”
Sanghyup Jeong, PhD, Michigan State University
“Using high-frequency nano-amplitude mechanical vibration for preventing and reducing Salmonella attachment on dry surfaces”
Stephen Grove, PhD, Institute for Food Safety and Health at Illinois Institute of Technology
“Best practices for cleaning and sanitizing nut butter processing equipment”
RESOURCES FOR FOOD MICROBIOLOGY INVESTIGATORS
The ILSI North America Reference Strain Collection: Expansion to Salmonella Isolates
Established in 2001 for Listeria monocytogenes isolates and housed at Cornell University, the ILSI North America Reference Strain Collection was expanded in 2006 to include the strain set and subtyping data that emerged from the committee’s Enterobacter (now Cronobacter) sakazakii. In 2008, the strain collection was expanded again to include the strains set of Salmonella resulting from the Salmonella low-moisture projects. Isolates from the collection are distributed for a minimal charge to researchers around the world. This unique resource provides investigators with a standard set of isolates that improves comparison of study data. The Committee on Food Microbiology continues to support the expansion of the strain collection to include Salmonella isolates. To access information on reference strain collections, click here.
To access links to resulting publications generated by funding from the Committee on Food Microbiology prior to 2008, click here. |
ConAgra Foods, Inc.
DuPont Nutrition & Health
General Mills, Inc.
Kraft Heinz Company
Starbucks Coffee Company
Bradley Marks, PhD
Michigan State University
Kendra Knightingale, PhD
Texas Tech University
Peter Gerner-Smidt, MD, PhD.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Mickey Parish, PhD.
Office of Food Safety
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Isabel Walls, PhD
United States Dept. of Agriculture
National Instiute of Food and Agriculture
Alison Kretser, MS, RD
Director, Science Programs
ILSI North America
1156 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005