CFS News Archives

How to Dry Fresh Herbs to Use in Your Cooking All Year Long

Some herbs lend themselves better to drying than others. "Herbs can be categorized into two main groups, each offering suitability for drying based on factors like your time, environmental humidity, and resource availability," says Dr. Carla L. Schwan, assistant professor and extension food safety specialist at the University of Georgia and director of the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

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Researchers unveil faster, more accurate COVID testing technique

CFS courtesy faculty member Yiping Zhao has helped to develop a faster, more accurate COVID testing method.  

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Can a cup of tea keep COVID away?

New research from the University of Georgia suggests that something as simple as a cup of tea can help in the fight against COVID-19.

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Also published in: WUGA, The Georgia Virtue, MSN, ScienceX

Should I be worried about lead in my cinnamon?

In the case of the ground cinnamon, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned last week, investigators detected roughly 2 to 3 parts per million of lead. Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, a professor and the director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, said he believes that amount of lead suggests “an environmental, non-intentional contamination.”

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International Cyclospora conference held

In early March, global experts in Cyclospora, a parasite responsible for fresh produce foodborne outbreaks, met in Atlanta to discuss their research. The meeting was an opportunity to “unravel insights, foster collaboration, and pave the way towards effective solutions for combating Cyclospora contamination and safeguarding public health” - an uphill battle as Cyclospora is notoriously challenging to study in the lab.

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FDA to Consumers: Stop Using Certain Ground Cinnamon Products With Elevated Lead Levels

Because you won't immediately know if you've ingested a lead-tainted product—"[you] can't smell or taste lead in cinnamon," said Diez-Gonzalez—you should also talk to your healthcare provider if you believe you've been exposed to elevated levels of lead, the FDA said.

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Researchers Determining Infectious Potential of Norovirus on Berries With Optimized Detection Method

UGA’s Malak Esseili, Ph.D. hopes to optimize methods for detecting and quantifying infectious norovirus from fresh berries using a cell culture model. Not only could the UGA team's work provide industry with better tools for measuring viruses on foods, but it could also shed light on the potential risk of infectious norovirus in stored berries.

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Reducing Foodborne Outbreaks: Studies Look At Virus Testing, Added Water Treatment Benefits

Malak Esseili, Ph.D., with the University of Georgia, hopes to enlist new technology to optimize the FDA’s detection method and then use it to determine infectious norovirus persistence in stored berries. Joining her in the CPS-funded study, “Optimizing methods for the detection and quantification of infectious human norovirus from fresh berries using human intestinal enteroids,” is co-investigator Issmat Kassem, Ph.D., also with UGA.

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Newest round of Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grants awarded

Ten university-wide projects devoted to advancing interdisciplinary research across multiple application areas have been awarded Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grants as part of the 2023 cohort. CFS's Issmat Kassem is involved in one of the projects, “Turning Blue to Green: Economic Development and Investment from Aquaculture in Georgia.” 

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Can cold brew coffee make you sick?

Thankfully, lovers of cold brew do not have to quit the drink or throw out their do-it-yourself cold brew pitchers, as UGA graduate research assistant Angela Parra has found that pathogenic bacteria, such as SalmonellaE. coli and Listeria monocytogenes, are unlikely to grow in cold brew coffee.

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UGA food scientists build toolbox for organic growers to address food safety concerns

University of Georgia researchers in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences are part of a $3.5 million grant designed to assist organic producers in meeting both National Organic Program standards and food safety requirements.

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Also published in: Morning Ag Clips
 

How Bad Is It to Eat Potatoes That Have Sprouted a Bunch of Eyes?

So what happens if you chow down on a potato that’s well past its prime? You might get hit with headaches, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrheaFrancisco Diez-Gonzalez, PhD, the director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, tells SELF. 

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How Long Can Milk Sit Out of the Fridge?

There are different types of pasteurization, but the most commonly used in the US is High Temperature Short Time (HTST), which reaches a temperature range of 161–165°F (72–74°C) for 15 seconds, says Michael Doyle, a Regents Professor of food microbiology at the University of Georgia.

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There's no such thing as the 5-second rule

The University Center for Food Safety was featured in on season 4, episode 11 of the television show Where the Food Comes From. Find sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes, and bonus content here. The full episode can be viewed here with a subscription. 

The benefits of flexibility in food safety

Francisco Diez appeared on the Meatingpod podcast to discuss food safety. 

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Assistant professor shares experiences to teach food safety

She didn’t realize it at the time, but Carla Schwan’s passion for food microbiology began in a hospital bed in rural Brazil.

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Also published in: Albany Herald
 

CFS Blue Light Research named top five food safety innovation

The UGA Center for Food Safety’s research into blue light as a means of inactivating harmful pathogens in food processing facilities has been named one of the top five food safety innovations of 2023 by Food Safety Magazine.

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Dr. Francisco Diez joins AMN

Just how long should those holiday leftovers stay in your fridge?

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UGA food safety expert Dr. Francisco Diez

He joins AMN to give insight on recent food recalls

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U celebrates life work of food scientist Ted Labuza

“He’s leaving a great legacy to our profession in food science… for generations to come,” said Dr. Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, director of the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Georgia.

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How Long Do Thanksgiving Leftovers Last? Food Safety Experts Weigh In

The shallower the container, the better: “Shallow containers with a product depth of less than 2 inches allow the heat from food to disperse faster than deep containers,” according to Carla L. Schwan, PhD, assistant professor and extension food safety specialist at the University of Georgia.

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Ancera Launches Next-Generation Salmonella Monitoring Software Platform in Response to Upcoming USDA Regulations, Consumer Demand

The platform is built on foundational diagnostic CRISPR-SeroSeq technology developed by Dr. Nikki Shariat and researchers from the University of Georgia’s Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

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Artificial Intelligence and Food Safety

The use of genome sequencing as the main data set for an AI-based algorithm is also the focus of research by Xiangyu Deng, PhD, an associate professor of food science and technology at the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia in Athens. In this case, the goal is not to predict future contaminations, but to identify their source. 

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USDA Appoints New Members to Food Safety Advisory Committee

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the appointment of 21 new members and nine returning members to the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF). The purpose of the committee is to provide impartial scientific advice and recommendations to federal food safety agencies that assures the safety of foods. CFS Courtesy Faculty Nikki Shariat joins the commitee.

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Advances in using blue light technology to fight foodborne illness

A new tool currently under research at the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety (CFS) could one day become a standard part of the average food production facility. It is safe for human use, is not harmful to the environment and can be used without downtime.

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Pathogen that plagues food processing plants eradicated by blue light

Blue light kills both dried cells and biofilms of the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes, a frequent contaminant of food processing facilities. Demise of L. monocytogenes occurred quickest when cells or biofilms were placed on polystyrene, a widely used, transparent form of plastic. The research is published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology,.

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Why Are Cantaloupes Prone to Salmonella Contamination?

Salmonella is the most common pathogen to contaminate cantaloupes, according to Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, PhD, a food safety microbiologist and director and professor of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia.

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A Popular Fruit Was Just Recalled in 19 States Due to Salmonella Concerns

Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, PhD, professor and director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, recommends vigorously scrubbing cantaloupe. “Don’t just rinse your cantaloupe; scrub it down and wipe it dry before cutting it open,” Dr. Diez-Gonzalez advises.

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The Crisis That Revolutionized Food Safety

2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the Jack in the Box E. coli O157:H7 (O157) outbreak, the crisis that changed food safety. No event has revolutionized food safety like this outbreak. It became a catalyst for new science, technology, and policy that advanced food safety for consumers.

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Refreshing Food Safety

In his role as Coca-Cola’s global director, quality and food safety, Jason Richardson is leading efforts to leverage the company’s legacy of quality to refresh and reframe food safety culture across the enterprise’s worldwide ecosystem.

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Sean Leighton Assumes Role of Board President at Institute of Food Technologists

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), a nonprofit scientific organization committed to advancing the science of food and its application across the global food system, is proud to announce that Sean Leighton has officially assumed the role of Board President succeeding Christopher Downs, PhD.

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Research examines safer alternative to disinfect COVID-19-contaminated surfaces

When the coronavirus pandemic first began in 2020, there was much that officials did not know about the virus and how to combat it. One area of concern was how to disinfect surfaces that were contaminated with SARS-CoV-2. Institutions such as schools and daycares especially needed to know how to clean high-touch surfaces to reduce the risk of infection.

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UGA food science student named winner of Testing for Life Award

Zhihan Xian’s innovative research into new methods of food origin tracing has been named this year’s winner of the Testing for Life Student Award by AOAC International, a nonprofit association that was established in 1884 and seeks to set standards of analysis to help ensure food safety globally.

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Also published in: Albany Herald, Athens CEO
 

More States Are Making Raw Milk Legal. Is It Safe?

Raw milk enthusiasts say that pasteurization reduces the nutritional value of milk and claim that raw dairy can improve allergies and lactose intolerance. But food safety experts say these claims are largely unfounded and the risk of serious infection from untreated milk far outweighs the benefits.

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Frozen Fruit Recalls Raise Concerns: Are You at Risk?

With the recent recalls of frozen fruit due to contamination concerns, many consumers are wondering whether it’s safe to eat frozen fruit. In general, eating raw fruit — fresh or frozen — poses inherent risks because it hasn’t been cooked or heated, something that kills most foodborne pathogens. ​

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UGA Center for Food Safety student wins Jim Ayres Young Investigator Award

University of Georgia Center for Food Safety doctoral student Jouman Hassan has been named the first-place winner of this year's Jim Ayres Young Investigator Award by the Georgia Association for Food Protection.

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Also published in: UGA Research, Yahoo!NewsKPVIAlbany Herald
 

Paradise Lost: The Impact of the Emergence of Antimicrobial Resistance on Food Safety

Dr. Issmat Kassem discusses the emergence of AMR in foodborne bacterial pathogens is a growing public health crisis, complicated by the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture.

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Diez-Gonzalez elected to the American Academy of Microbiology

Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, director of the University of Georgia Center for Food Safety, has been elected as a fellow into the prestigious American Academy of Microbiology. Diez-Gonzalez was one of 65 new fellows admitted in the Class of 2023 out of a nomination pool of 148.  

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Elanco: Addressing USDA's Top Salmonella Serotype KPIs in Poultry

In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak with Dr. Potter and Dr. Shariat [2:06] about:

  • Industry and regulatory efforts to reduce Salmonella in poultry, including USDA's Proposed Regulatory Framework to Reduce Salmonella Infections Linked to Poultry Products 
  • Ongoing work to identify the sources of, and mitigation strategies for, the top three Salmonella serotypes of concern
  • Measuring the impact of pre-harvest interventions for Salmonella serotypes of concern
  • The usefulness of Salmonella quantification 
  • Short- and long-term drivers for industry to improve Salmonella controls, especially to meet the requirements of USDA’s Proposed Regulatory Framework

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Leadership Lessons from Food Safety Professionals

Like so many things, leadership has evolved over the years as we learn more about how to inspire, train and empower. We asked 22 food safety professionals for their thoughts on leadership. Here’s what they said.

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CFS on WKEU Radio

On May 25, Center for Food Safety Director Dr. Francisco Diez and CFS Communication Specialist Jennifer Reynolds appeared on WKEU Radio - The Rock to discuss the work of CFS. Links to the stories and information referenced during the program can be found below. 

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Expiration Dates Tend To Be Loose Recommendations, but These Are the Foods You Shouldn’t Keep Past Due

To learn more about what the slightly rubbed-off dates stamped on the side of your hummus container (etc. etc.) really mean, we spoke with Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, PhD, director at the Center of Food Safety at the University of Georgia, who shed light on how to approach these foods.

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Three UGA professors appointed to serve on international food safety committee

Three University of Georgia professors from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences have been appointed to serve on Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meetings on Microbiological Risk Assessment (JEMRA) from 2023-27.

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Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Flour, CDC Warns—Experts Explain How to Stay Safe

It can be tricky to pinpoint an exact cause of contamination in these situations, says Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, Ph.D., professor and director of the Center for Food Safety at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “The flour may be contaminated all the way from the field,” he says. “It could also get contaminated in different stages of the processing.”

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7 Foods Most Likely To Cause Food Poisoning, According to a Food Scientist

Though it’s nearly impossible to avoid foodborne illnesses at all costs and most people tend to recover without the need for treatment, we spoke with Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, PhD, the professor and director at the Center of Food Safety at the University of Georgia, about some of the most common culprits of food poisoning. Having these in your back pocket, he says, will help you be extra mindful to follow proper food safety precautions when handling these ingredients at home or when dining out. 

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Bacteria in grocery-store meat causes about half a million UTIs annually: study

Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, a professor in the department of food science and technology and the director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, said the study acts as a warning for people who are prone to UTIs so they can become aware of safety precautions like the proper cooking temperatures to prevent UTIs.

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Center for Food Safety celebrates 30 years of research, collaboration

The University of Georgia Center for Food Safety (CFS) is home to some of the world’s leading experts in food microbiology. This year, it celebrates 30 years of research that has helped to make the food supply safer for all.

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Also published in: Yahoo News, Albany Herald
 

UGA Center for Food Safety director aids in FDA review

Califf asked the Reagan-Udall Foundation to create a panel to review the culture, structure and leadership, resources and authorities of the FDA. Francisco Diez, director of the UGA Center for Food Safety, which is housed in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, was selected as one of six experts to conduct the evaluation.

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Also published in: Albany Herald, Yahoo News
 

Making your food safer—one study at a time

From studying the way light affects foodborne pathogens to designing innovative technology for data processing, the team at the University of Georgia Center for Food Safety (CFS) is pushing the boundaries of technology to help protect a safe and secure global food chain. 

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Here Are 3 Types Of Food That Are Most Likely To Carry Listeria Bacteria

The germs are widely distributed in food processing environments. They can multiply and ultimately make you sick due to ineffective cleaning and sanitation, poor conditions of equipment, and low-humidity or low-oxygen environments in food.

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Discovery and challenge feed Diez-Gonzalez's food safety career

CFS Director Francisco Diez is featured in FPT Magazine's Beyond the Bio section. 

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No, chemical propellants do not make cooking sprays toxic

A viral video claimed aerosol cooking sprays are toxic because of the ingredients used in the propellant. CFS Director Francisco Diez weighed in on the claim. 

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Researchers evaluate methods to improve Salmonella surveillance in turkeys

USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announce the completion of a funded research project at the University of Georgia in which researchers evaluated methods to improve Salmonella surveillance in turkeys.

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Reynolds selected as Employee of the Year 

CFS has selected Jennifer Reynolds as the 2022 Employee of the Year.  Francisco Diez, CFS director, presented Reynolds with the award during a luncheon held to mark the occasion. 

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How To Tell If Soda Has Gone Bad

"Most sodas have an acidic pH and will not support the growth of disease-causing bacteria," says University of Georgia food safety expert Carla Schwan, who adds that "there is no research supporting that a 41-year-old expired Coke is safe to drink."

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The Real Difference Between Rare Steak And Rare Chicken

With a few exceptions, chicken always arrives on your plate fully cooked. A big reason for this — besides longstanding culinary tradition — is safety. As Francisco Diez-Gonazalez, director of the University of Georgia's Center for Food Safety, explained to Adam Ragusea, chicken flesh can carry pathogens such as salmonella. 

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The surprising impact of sunlight on food safety

One way harmful pathogens can enter the food supply is through irrigation water, but researchers are using precision agriculture to create a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to combat the bacteria that makes us sick. And the tool they are using is available to everyone — the sun.

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Dawgs at Work

From rural hospitals to global corporate offices, CAES alumni excel in their fields. Takiyah Ball is a food safety microbiologist at Sargento Foods, but she doesn’t work in a lab.

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Also published in: Yahoo!News
 

Student Spotlight: Revati Narwankar

Food virologist and president of the UGA-Griffin Student Advisory Council, Narwankar is working toward her doctorate at UGA's Center for Food Safety

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New report out targeting key food safety areas

The GFSI Science Technology Advisory Group Report for 2022 has been published in a partnership between The Global Food Safety Initiative and The Consumer Goods Forum Coalition of Action on Food Safety.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Rewash That Pre-Washed Bag of Lettuce, According to Food Scientists

According to Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, PhD, professor and director of the Center of Food Safety at the University of Georgia, rewashing pre-washed greens isn’t totally imperative, but it's still going to be worth it.

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Global awareness needed to stop AMR

The pathogens that make us ill such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites evolve over time and can become less responsive to the medications used to treat them

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CFS Safe Foods Forum held

The Center for Food Safety held its fall Safe Foods Forum in late September. Participants involved scientists and officials from the CDC and the CFS Board of Advisors. 

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Okay, Really: How Gross Is It To Not Wash Produce Before Eating It?

According to Dr. Diez-Gonzalez, you should always, always give fresh fruits and vegetables a rinse before you consume them. 

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Also published in: Well+Good
 

New study to examine norovirus in fresh berries

Center for Food Safety Assistant Professor Malak Esseili has been named one of the 2022 RFP Grant Recipients by the Center for Produce Safety. 

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Microbial risk management

In this issue of our Food Safety In-depth Focus, we hear from Dr Martin Wiedmann, Dr Xiangyu Deng and Dr Gilbert Lamothe as they offer their insights into lowering the risk of microbial contamination in a comprehensive roundtable. 

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UGA Professor featured on popular YouTube food channel

Carla Schwan talks with YouTuber Adam Ragusea about lacto-fermentation and food safety during preservation. 

Click here to watch the video (opens YouTube)

Innovations in Plant-Based Food Safety

Renowned food microbiologist Larry Beuchat talks with contributing editor Jane Caldwell about his body of research.

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40 Under 40 Class of 2022 announced by VGN, FGN

CFS Courtesy Faculty member Laurel Dunn has been named one of Vegetable Growers News and Fruit Growers News magazines' Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 class of 2022.

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Experts To Review FDA Human Foods Program Announced

The Reagan-Udall Foundation has announced five members of its Independent Expert Panel who will conduct the operational evaluation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) human foods program.  

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CFS Faculty share food safety tips for tailgating

September is National Food Safety Education Month. Researchers from UGA teamed up to make a video sharing tips on food safety to help make your next tailgating event a fun -- and safe -- event! Go Dawgs! 

Click here to watch the video (opens YouTube)

Cultivate with Rawane Raad

A doctoral student in UGA's Department of Food Science and Technology, Rawane Raad traveled from Beirut, Lebanon, to pursue graduate studies at the UGA Center for Food Safety

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Take Five with Faculty - Manpreet Singh

Meet Manpreet Singh, professor and head of the UGA Department of Food Science and Technology. In this interview, Professor Singh discusses his career path among land-grant institutions, his passion for public health, and his work improving food safety across the world.

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Strategies to Reduce Clostridium botulinum Risk in Fresh-Cut Produce

Increasing consideration of C. botulinum as a potential pathogen of concern is emerging for fresh-cut vegetables, fruits, and mushrooms

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A Critical Look at Reducing the Risk of Salmonella from Poultry—Part 1

There is a need to address Salmonella at pre-harvest, in addition to the current practice of minimizing the risk during processing.

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Researchers introduce rapid diagnostic test for Listeria

Researchers in the University of Georgia College of Engineering are developing a new way to detect potentially deadly Listeria contamination in food.

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Raad wins Jim Ayres Award

Center for Food Safety master’s student Rawane Raad has been named this year’s first place winner of the Jim Ayres Young Investigator Award. 

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Salmonella in poultry, the issues and solutions, hearing from the experts

In an IAFP 2022 session on Aug. 1 titled “Salmonella in Poultry: Issues and Solutions” speakers talked about how the contamination of poultry with Salmonella continues to be one of the most pressing issues in food safety. 

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UGA study determines why some COVID patients have GI symptoms

From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts and health officials have witnessed a wide variety of symptoms — one patient may have a severe cough, while another may have no symptoms at all.

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International Association for Food Protection honors UGA Center for Food Safety director

Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, director of the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety, is the 2022 recipient of the Harry Haverland Citation Award from the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP).

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Also published in: KPVI, Yahoo!
 

CAES researcher instrumental in ban of last-resort agricultural antibiotic in Lebanon

Colistin is one of the world’s most important antibiotics, but its overuse has contributed to the rise of antimicrobial resistance, “one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity,” according to the World Health Organization. In an effort to preserve colistin’s efficacy, the U.S. does not use it in food animals, and now, thanks to the efforts of University of Georgia Professor Issmat Kassem, Lebanon has followed suit, banning it for agricultural use in that country. 

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Refugees at higher risk for persistent infections, according to UGA-led study

The destruction caused by war is evident both in its toll to human life and its impact on infrastructure. Those who are lucky enough to escape violence face many challenges, from finding a safe place to live to securing employment, but another threat could further jeopardize their ability to survive — an increased risk of illness.  

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World Food Safety Day 2022 Webinar Roundup

World Food Safety Day is celebrated annually on June 7. This year was marked with notable webinars on the topic "Safer food, better health." We compiled some webinars on global food safety so you can learn more. 

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Narwankar named CPS award recipient

Food Science Ph.D. student Revati Narwankar has been named a recipient of the Center for Produce Safety’s 2022 Professional Development Program award. Narwankar, who conducts her research at University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety, was one of eight selected for the program that CPS says was designed to provide “young professionals the opportunity to develop and improve engagement, gain insight, knowledge and career skills with the fresh produce safety community.”

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Low levels of high-risk salmonella evade traditional methods of detection

Poultry is responsible for more than one out of every five cases of salmonella infection in the U.S. But traditional methods of testing the chicken you grab off the grocery shelf may not be enough to detect all strains of the bacteria, according to new research from the University of Georgia.

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Also published in: Morning Ag Clips, Marietta Daily Journal, Poultry Times, Feedstuffs, Meat+Poultry, Supermarket Perimeter

UGA offers global leadership in food safety research

Foodborne illnesses affect more than 600 million people each year worldwide. In 2018, the U.N. General Assembly established June 7 as World Food Safety Day to bring awareness of foodborne risks and “to celebrate the myriad benefits of safe food.” 

Click here to read the full story

Also published in: KPVI, Times-Georgian
 

Strawberries linked to hepatitis A: Here's how the virus might've contaminated the fruit

Public health officials are investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A potentially linked to organic strawberries. But how could the virus have gotten into the fruit in the first place? 

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Also published in: MSN
 

Georgia won't need to toss unused baby formula after receiving federal approval to 'temporarily lift' restriction

CFS Director Francisco Diez weighs in on the latest decision made by Georgia officials to help alleviate the baby formula crisis. 

Click here to watch the interview

Georgia destroys thousands of cans of baby formula every year. Here’s why.

It’s very unlikely for pathogens or disease-causing bacteria to develop in unopened cans of formula and render them unsafe, even if they were exposed to high temperatures, according to Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia.

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New UGA study will look to lettuce microbes for food safety solutions

Often referred to as leafy greens, lettuce and other similar vegetables are a common source of foodborne illnesses. To address this threat, researchers at the University of Georgia Center for Food Safety are preparing to launch a study on E. coli colonization from a new angle: the microbiome of lettuce. 

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UGA-Griffin students celebrate their multicultural campus community

Nestled on what was once a Georgia experiment station, the University of Georgia Griffin campus has evolved since those early days to embrace a multicultural, international community of researchers from all across the globe.

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Tainted Baby-Formula Risk Was Seen Months Before Abbott’s Recall

Federal inspectors spotted the potential for baby formula made at an Abbott Laboratories plant to become contaminated months before a recall that exacerbated a nationwide shortage, a government document shows.

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'Finding unconventional solutions for very big problems'

Researchers from the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety (CFS) and Department of Food Science and Technology are looking for new ways to tackle food safety by expanding their global network to increase the safety of the global food supply in the U.S. and abroad. 

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UGA researchers study the use of blue light technology to reduce foodborne outbreaks

Researchers from the University of Georgia Center for Food Safety are beginning a new study to investigate the effectiveness of antimicrobial blue light technology to reduce the foodborne pathogens that cause food poisoning.

Click here to read the full story

More information available in the CPS Research Report.
 

Cultivate - Take Five with Faculty Faith Critzer

Associate professor, Department of Food Science and Technology and CFS Courtesy Faculty

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Contaminated-Baby-Formula Investigation Turns Murky

A federal investigation into popular baby formulas and serious infant bacterial infections has been complicated by conflicting evidence that could make it difficult to prove or disprove a definitive connection, government officials and food-safety experts say.

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Slaughter recognized

On Thursday, March 17, the University of Georgia Griffin Campus held its 33rd Annual Classified Employee Awards Ceremony. 

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Inbound students visit CFS

On Friday, March 11, CFS welcomed incoming students to the Griffin campus facility. 

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Take a Second Look at Pathogens in Cereal Flours

Because of their low water activity (aw), wheat and other cereal flours traditionally have been viewed as antagonistic to the survival of pathogens such as Salmonella and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC). 

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New software from CAES improves accuracy of DNA sequence analysis

Researchers from the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety have developed software that functions as an important step in improving the accuracy of DNA sequence analysis when testing for microbial contamination.

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New study finds high-touch surfaces in long-term care facilities are frequently contaminated with potentially infectious material

Findings from a study published today in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) provide new insights that could help long-term care (LTC) facilities assess the cleanliness of high-touch surfaces, and thereby enhance infection prevention and control measures designed to prevent serious diarrheal diseases and deaths among their residents. The study evaluated the utility of specific hygienic monitoring tools for assessing levels of microbial contamination on high-touch surfaces in 11 LTC facilities in South Carolina.

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Slaughter named CFS Employee of the Year

Melissa Slaughter has been named the 2021 Center for Food Safety Employee of the Year. CFS Director Francisco Diez-Gonzalez announced the winner during a hybrid in-person and streaming event held in the Melton Building on the University of Georgia Griffin Campus.

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So far, so good: Wayne Harvester to retire

Center for Food Safety (CFS) IT Professional Specialist and die-hard UGA fan Wayne Harvester is set to retire in January 2022. Known for spouting his famous catchphrase “So far, so good?” as he polices the Melton Building for computer problems, Harvester’s time at the University of Georgia began long before he set foot on the Griffin campus.

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Testing for Salmonella, 100-plus colonies at a time

To keep pathogens out of the nation’s stores and pantries, food inspectors and outbreak detectives take samples from the food supply, grow a culture, and analyze it to see if any contaminants are present. It’s an essential procedure for states like Georgia, the nation’s top producer of broiler chickens.

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Gene that causes antimicrobial resistance in bacteria discovered in Georgia

A gene that causes bacteria to be resistant to one of the world’s most important antibiotics, colistin, has been detected in sewer water in Georgia. The presence of the MCR-9 gene is a major concern for public health because it causes antimicrobial resistance, a problem that the World Health Organization has declared “one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.”

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UGA food scientist sets global food safety standards on joint FAO/WHO panel

During her final year as a student at Washington State University, Faith Critzer found that she needed one elective to complete her bachelor’s degree in animal science. Critzer was required to take a course outside the animal science department, so she selected an introductory food science course that fit her schedule. That one elective course changed the entire course of her education and career.

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Visiting Fulbright Scholar to depart CFS

When Magdalena Olszewska, a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Georgia Center for Food Safety (CFS), returns to her native Poland this month, she will take with her lessons learned about establishing collaborations with fellow scientists in the field of food science – collaborations that she says will play an important role in her future research.

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Using Artificial Intelligence May Add More Transparency to the Food Supply Chain

Food industry professionals know how supply chain transparency plays a major role in keeping everything running smoothly. Brand representatives want confirmation that their agricultural partners can fill upcoming orders. If things go wrong and people get sick from what they eat, better visibility is vital in addressing and curbing such issues.

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CFS members join stream clean up efforts

Several CFS faculty, staff and students took part in the City of Griffin Annual Stream Cleanup held Oct. 16 along with other members of the UGA Griffin Campus. "The team of 18 volunteers from UGA, primarily made up of students in the Food Science Club and staff from the Center for Food Safety, spent the morning working near the old Rushton Mill in a stream that feeds into Shoal Creek."

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Safe Foods Forum held last month

In early October, the Center for Food Safety held the second of its twice-yearly Safe Foods Forum. The event, which had over 60 participants, provided an opportunity for food safety professionals to network and discuss topics that are both timely and relevant to the food industry and public health.

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Local board visits Griffin Campus

The University of Georgia Griffin Campus Board of Visitors, a task force established to promote and improve UGA Griffin, recently visited the campus to learn about research that is being done on the premises. The Board of Visitors serves to help increase relationships between the campus and the community by acting as an advisory board to the Assistant Provost and Griffin Campus Director. They often help foster corporate relationships and work for the advancement of the good of the campus within the local community. 

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Study looks at role of dust in potential cross-contamination

Researchers have conducted significant research into the role of water in foodborne outbreaks and to a lesser extent, soil’s contribution, but the potential for dust particles to transfer pathogens onto produce has been largely overlooked. 

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Two CFS students awarded scholarships

Two University of Georgia Center for Food Safety’s (CFS) doctoral students were awarded scholarships earlier this month.

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Do we really need to rinse our fruit and vegetables? Even that might not kill tiny flies.

Many of us were taught to always rinse that fruit before we eat it. But does that actually do anything?

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Also published in: Chicago Sun Times
 

Atis receives Women in Agribusiness Summit Scholarship

Center for Food Safety student Lordwige Atis has received a Women in Agribusiness Summit scholarship.

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High Levels Of Bacterial Contamination Found In Salads In Lebanon

Dr. Issmat Kassem, a microbiologist and certified professional in food safety, shared a scientific report showing the levels of bacterial contamination in certain foods as part of a series of studies related to food safety in Lebanon.

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Evidence of study suggests source of pandemic foodborne illness

Researchers at the University of Georgia have provided multifaceted evidence to suggest the likely origins behind the global spread of Salmonella Enteritidis, which has caused recurring outbreaks of the foodborne pandemic linked to poultry products. 

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CFS Professor Emeritus Larry Beuchat recognized as IAFP Milestone Member

IAFP's Milestone Member recognition of 50+ years continues with Dr. Larry Beuchat. Dr. Beuchat is a Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia in Griffin. 

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Severe Level Of E. Coli Contamination Found In Lebanese Cheese

Dr. Issmat Kassem, a microbiologist and a certified professional in food safety, shared a scientific study showing the levels of E. coli contamination in the Akkawi cheese sold in Beirut, Lebanon.

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Prevalence of Cyclospora in water and produce studied

Ynés Ortega, Ph.D., with the University of Georgia, is leading a research project that will identify potential sources of the protozoan pathogen, Cyclospora cayetanensis.

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Also published in Produce Processing and Food Safety News
 

CFS well-represented at IAFP

Nearly thirty representatives of the Center for Food Safety (CFS) made up of faculty, staff, students, board of advisors and patron members participated in this year’s event.

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in cattle

Harmful bacteria are hiding in livestock; traditional methods aren’t finding them.

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UGA plays pivotal role in food safety

World Food Safety Day is celebrated annually on June 7. Established in 2018 through a U.N. General Assembly resolution, the day seeks to bring awareness to foodborne risks and “to celebrate the myriad benefits of safe food,” according to the U.N.

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Modeling to project trends of COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is using a tool to help project what might happen in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in coming months. Called modeling, the tool does not seek to determine what will happen in the future. Instead, it is designed to help decision makers plan for what might happen based on current trends. 

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Where Are They Now: Megan Davis

In 2003, Megan Davis graduated from University of Georgia Center for Food Safety (CFS) with her master’s degree in food science and technology. Since that time, she has become involved in public health and played an important role in South Carolina’s efforts to slow the coronavirus pandemic. 

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CFS student presents at 3-A SSI Virtual Education Program 

Lordwige Atis, a graduate research assistant at University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety (CFS) has been selected as a Student Participation Award winner for 3-A Sanitary Standards Inc. (3-A SSI) Virtual Education Program 2021.

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CFS hosts exchange session for industry members

In April, University of Georgia Center for Food Safety (CFS) held an exchange session for its board of advisors and patron members. During the forum, food safety leaders and industry members gathered to discuss the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its continuing impact on the food industry.

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CFS student presents at AOAC

University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety (CFS) graduate student Ikechukwu Oguadinma, or Ike as he is better known, presented at AOAC International’s Midyear Meeting which was held this March. 

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CFS student receives scholarship

Center for Food Safety master’s student Kaylan Hayman has been awarded the Dr. Manjeet S. Chinnan Graduate Student Support Scholarship.

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2021 Classified Employee of the Year Ceremony held

Meghan den Bakker was nominated for the 2021 Classified Employee of the Year. The award is given to support personnel who have made a significant impact on the programs at UGA Griffin. This photo is from the awards ceremony held on April 7, 2021.  

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CFS welcomes new dean

On, Wednesday, March 31, the new Dean and Director of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Dr. Nick Place, visited the Center for Food Safety (CFS) to tour the facilities and learn about its operations.

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CFS Annual Meeting continues for 28th year

The University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety (CFS) held its Annual Meeting in early March. This invitation-only event provides CFS members and scientists from other organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FDA, USDA and others to summarize the latest information on food safety research.

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Hur named scholarship recipient

Minji Hur has been named the recipient of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Science (CAES) Student Scholarship.

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New technology reveals hidden Salmonella

...University of Georgia researcher Nikki Shariat believes traditional Salmonella surveillance methods have been missing the big picture. 
 
 

CFS faculty and staff receive awards, nomination

Members of the Center for Food Safety at UGA Griffin have recently been recognized for their service culminating in four awards and one nomination. 

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Where Are They Now: Clayton Smith

Clayton Smith was a master’s student at the University of Georgia’s Food Science Graduate Program and conducted his research at the Center for Food Safety (CFS) between 2018 and 2020. Since graduating last spring, Smith obtained a position as a quality and process control supervisor for Hormel and began work in its Rochelle, Illinois facility in July of 2020. 

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UGA's Center for Food Safety partners with industry and government agencies to keep your food secure

Contaminated food products make tens of millions of people sick each year, result in thousands of hospitalizations, and cause more than 1,300 deaths annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And that’s just in the U.S.

It’s the University of Georgia Center for Food Safety’s mission to prevent those outbreaks before they happen.

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Fighting COVID-19 - CAES faculty apply expertise to pandemic response

Since the COVID-19 crisis emerged in the U.S., researchers and faculty at the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences have worked quickly to contribute to the knowledge base around the novel coronavirus, launching and participating in a number of studies aimed at prevention and control of its spread.

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UGA scientist is tracking ‘hitchhiker’ genes

University of Georgia food scientist Issmat Kassem is tracking mobile colistin-resistance (MCR) genes, which were originally found in China in 2016, and how they spread through travel and food trade. 

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David Mann elected CFS' Employee of the Year

David Mann has been named the CFS Employee of the Year. Mann began his employment with University of Georgia in 2001 as a part-time laboratory assistant. After 16 years working as a full-time staff member, he currently serves as a research professional II. 

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CFS director joins delegation in Thailand

CFS Director Dr. Francisco Diez joined a delegation of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences led by Dean Sam Pardue and Amrit Bart, Assistant Dean of Global Programs to visit Khon Kaen University in Thailand and participate in a two-day symposium titled “Food Safety: Production, Health and Market.”
 

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CFS director featured in viral video

With more than 1M views on Adam Ragusea’s YouTube channel, his video interview entitled “Why Rare Steak is Safe — but NOT Rare Chicken” with Prof. Diez proves to be a great media for learning food safety.

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Key CFS members collaborate on new textbook

CFS Founding Director Mike Doyle and Francisco Diez collaborated with Prof. Colin Hill from University College Cork in Ireland as co-editors of the thoroughly updated edition of this landmark textbook.

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CFS director featured in video on food safety during COVID-19

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is food safe? Groceries? Take-out food? Delivery? Drive-through? All your coronavirus food safety questions are answered by Dr. Angela Shaw of Iowa State University and Dr. Francisco Diez-Gonzalez of the University of Georgia.

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CAES Newswire

The Extension/CAES Newswire features the latest popular science and lifestyle stories relating to agricultural, consumer and environmental sciences. Read more here.

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Cultivate

Our future is rooted in growing our understanding of agricultural and environmental sciences. Discover how CAES is working to feed the world, protect the environment and innovate industry here. 

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Almanac

Published annually, the CAES Almanac features stories of science in service of humanity and the environment. Read more here.