The development of whole genome sequencing (WGS) has improved foodborne illness surveillance and outbreak detection. Use of WGS has led to the recognition of some pathogenic strains that cause reoccurring, emerging, or persisting (REP) illness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other federal and state partners are now tracking several REP strains, which are groups of genetically related bacteria related that continue to cause illnesses over time or may cause repeated outbreaks.

Sonia Salas

On April 29 Western Growers asked the Food and Drug Administration to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) in order for the two organizations to work collaboratively to help conduct root cause analysis for foodborne illness outbreaks.

De Ann Davis

Last week an article entitled “Outbreak Investigations of Cyclospora cayetanensis Infections 2013-2020: Progress Made and Challenges that Remain” was published in the April/May issue of Food Safety Magazine.

The article’s main discussion points include common challenges encountered during outbreaks of Cyclosporiasis, successes and breakthroughs, sample findings and how to address future outbreaks. The authors note that recurring outbreaks of cyclosporiasis underscore the need for a comprehensive understanding of how Cyclospora cayetanensis contaminates water and produce.

Ann Donahue

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Food Safety

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