Featured Food Security Impacts

Fast, affordable tools for food safety

Foodborne pathogens cause an estimated 48 million illnesses each year.

In Minnesota, researchers developed simple, rapid and cost-effective methods to detect microbial food spoilage nearly on-the-spot. One new technology can detect bacteria and fungi in yogurt in less than an hour, and in other foods in as little as five minutes, eliminating the lag between administering a test and obtaining results. Both General Mills and Schwan’s are providing industry insights and funding for the research. A start-up company is in development to commercialize the new technologies and deliver them to industry partners.

Georgia researchers developed SeqSero, a tool that shortens salmonella detection from days to minutes or seconds. The tool has been adopted by more than 60 governmental, academic and private institutions, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and USDA. In Florida, researchers developed a way to detect salmonella bacteria on beef or chicken in about one quarter of the time needed for conventional tests, from two to three days to 15 hours.