CFS News Archives

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.” 

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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. 

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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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Also published in: Morning AgClips, SeedQuest
 

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.

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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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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.

Click here to watch the video (opens YouTube)


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