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2015 Archived Content

In the U.S. alone, there are an estimated 47.8 million illnesses, over 127,000 hospitalizations and 3,000-plus deaths attributed to foodborne illness each year. Traditional means for microbial detection can no longer match the pace of today’s food processing and global distribution networks. Emerging rapid sensor and detection platforms can provide the timely and actionable information needed to lessen the human and economic burdens levied by foodborne disease.

The Rapid Detection for Food Safety Conference will feature presentations on emerging optical, nanotechnological, spectroscopic and electrochemical technologies for pathogen detection, including label-free and high-throughput methods. Novel ligands for pathogen capture will also be examined. Benefits and challenges of these new methods and their comparison with existing techniques will be discussed. Label-free approaches and the advantages of novel bioaffinity ligands will be highlighted.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Download Brochure

Monday, June 22

7:00 am Registration & Morning Coffee

8:25 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Arun Bhunia, Ph.D., Professor of Food Microbiology, Department of Food Science, Purdue University

8:30 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION - Indicator Organisms for Food Safety, FSMA

Bob Buchanan

Bob Buchanan, Ph.D., Professor & Director, Center for Food Safety & Security Systems, University of Maryland



9:00 GenomeTrakr: A Pathogen Database to Build a Global Genomic Network for Pathogen Traceback and Outbreak Detection

Marc Allard, Ph.D., Research Microbiologist, Senior Biomedical Research Services, United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

This study demonstrates how, with the selection of proper data quality and use of data filtration techniques, one can use desktop NGS sequencer data into a combined analysis. The hardware and software implemented allows us to compare and cluster complete genomes of thousands of taxa at a time, and the software outputs daily phylogenetic trees for source tracking of food and environmental isolates. Herein, we report enhanced molecular epidemiological insights gained by comparative analysis of Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria genomes previously deemed indistinguishable by conventional subtyping methodologies. These results demonstrate an important investigative role for WGS tools within a regulatory environment while highlighting the novel additional insights provided to epidemiological investigations through comparison to a reference database.

9:30 Alive and Well in Low-Moisture Conditions - What We Can Learn About Cronobacter sakazakii Using RNA Sequencing and Transposon-Directed Insertion Site Sequencing

Seamus Fanning, Ph.D., Professor of Food Safety & Zoonoses, School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Population Science, University College Dublin

Cronobacter species are opportunistic pathogens, associated with serious illness in neonates. Powdered infant formula (PIF) has been epidemiologically linked to infections. Little is known about the mechanisms Cronobacter employ to survive and persist in low-moisture environments, including PIF production site. Osmotic stress response genes were over-expressed and TraDIS confirmed these observations. This is an early insight into how this bacterium responds to low-moisture conditions.

10:00 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

10:30 High-Speed Detection of Bacterial Pathogens by BioVelocity Contributes to Food Biosecurity

Sterling Thomas, Director of Data Analytics Center of Excellence, National Security & Intelligence, Noblis

Recently whole genome sequencing has been applied to food safety since genomic information enables differentiating a pathogen down to the strain level, thus offering the potential of confidently associating food samples with patient specimens for actionable outcomes. In this study, we apply BioVelocity to analyze hundreds of Salmonella sequences present in NCBI’s BioProject database. Our results indicate BioVelocity has potential in contributing to food biosecurity by accurately detecting pathogens and identifying their associations in respect to geolocation of the source in minutes.


11:00 Spectral Imaging Technologies for Food Safety Inspection of Agricultural Products

Moon Kim, Ph.D., Research Physicist, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Over the last fifteen years, research using hyperspectral imaging technologies has focused and reported on finding multispectral imaging approaches suitable for potential online implementation to evaluate food and agricultural samples of interest. ARS researchers in Beltsville, Maryland, pioneered the online implementation of hyperspectral/multispectral line-scan imaging technologies in a commercial food processing environment such as wholesomeness inspection of broiler chickens on poultry processing lines. The whole-surface fruit and vegetable spectral imaging methods that allow simultaneous safety and quality inspection online are presented.

11:30 Flow Cytometry for Rapid Detection

Byron Brehm-Stecher, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Rapid Microbial Detection & Control Laboratory, Iowa State University

Flow cytometry (FCM) is an instrumental tool for rapid detection and characterization of microbial cells based on their light scatter and fluorescence properties. FCM allows analysis of complex populations according to user-defined cell characteristics, with typical analysis rates approaching 10,000 cells s-1. The recent advent of smaller, less expensive yet versatile FCM instruments is expected to facilitate even greater use of FCM in food microbiology, in applications including monitoring of food fermentations, physiological characterization of microbes exposed to various food processing-related stressors and rapid detection of pathogens in foods.

12:00 pm Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Enjoy Lunch on Your Own

1:55 Chairperson’s Remarks

Byron Brehm-Stecher, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Rapid Microbial Detection & Control Laboratory, Iowa State University

2:00 Improvements in Biodetection – Role of the Recognition Element

Chris Taitt, Ph.D., Research Biochemist, United States Naval Research Laboratory

Sensitive and selective detection in biosensors is highly dependent on the biological elements used for target recognition. While antibodies and nucleic acids are the most commonly used recognition elements, peptides and other small molecules can also be used. Our own work with antimicrobial peptides has enabled broad-spectrum detection of various microbes - including those causing foodborne illnesses - with classification based on the pattern of binding. Our recent results highlight the importance of immobilization on both sensitivity and specificity. In several cases, unusual and unexpected changes in specificity were observed.

2:30 Light Scattering and Optical Sensors for High Throughput Screening of Bacterial Pathogens

Arun Bhunia, Ph.D., Professor of Food Microbiology, Department of Food Science, Purdue University

Rapid high throughput pathogen screening tools are crucial for improving safety of our food supply. Current pathogen detection trend emphasizes the application of single platform for detection of multiple pathogens/toxins in a cost effective manner. Our research team is currently developing high throughput nano/biosensor-based screening tools such as fiber optic, cell-based and light scattering for detection of multi-pathogens and toxins from food. Limit of detection, specificity, automation and application of each sensor with various sample matrices will be discussed.

3:30 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

4:15 Application of Luminescence Based Reporter Phage Detection of E. coli O157:H7 during Selective Enrichment

Bruce Applegate, Ph.D., Professor, Center for Food Safety Engineering, Purdue University

Selective enrichment is a common component in all methods for the detection of low levels of foodborne pathogens and is the most time consuming step in most protocols. Recently we have developed a series of luminescent phage-based assays for the detection of E. coli O157:H7 during selective enrichment. This approach was successful in exploiting the time required for selective enrichment to provide presence or absence indication and with continuous light monitoring can provide quantitative results as well.

4:45 Fluorescence Spectroscopy for Rapid Detection of Food Pathogens

Modesto Antonio Chaves, Ph.D., Professor, Center for Development and Diffusion of Technologies, The State University of Southwest Bahia (UESB), Brazil

This presentation will show how fluorescence spectroscopy can be used for rapid detection and differentiation of food contaminants such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Campylobacter, which are the most commonly identified commensal and pathogenic bacteria in foods. Fluorescence spectroscopy is a rapid, sensitive, and non-destructive analytical technique and its application has increased during the last decade. A review of the fluorescence spectroscopy methods useful for rapid detection of food pathogens will be presented.

5:15 Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

6:15 End of Day One

Day 1 | Day 2 | Download Brochure

Tuesday, June 23

8:00 am Morning Coffee

8:25 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Byron Brehm-Stecher, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Rapid Microbial Detection & Control Laboratory, Iowa State University

8:30 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION - Future of Epidemiology & Outbreak Investigations

Peter Gerner-Smidt

Peter Gerner-Smidt, M.D., DMS, Chief, Enteric Disease Laboratory Branch, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

The role of public health in food safety is to monitor trends in and detect, investigate, and control outbreaks of foodborne illnesses in humans. Subtyping by high discriminatory pulsed-field gel-electrophoresis (PFGE) has been critical to detect and investigate outbreaks of foodborne infections. Whole genome sequencing is the ultimate laboratory surveillance tool. It is now being implemented in the public health surveillance. It will likely replace not just PFGE, but since most characteristics of a pathogen may be predicted from its sequence, also most other characterization of food borne pathogens in one consolidated cost-efficient workflow in all public health and other food safety laboratories.



9:00 Rapid Pathogen Detection Methods - Where They Come From and How They Have Impacted Food Testing

Peter Feng, Ph.D., Research Microbiologist, Department of Health and Human Services, United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

The FDA is responsible for ensuring the microbiological safety of foods that enters into “interstate” commerce. The assessment that foods are free of pathogens relies heavily on testing hence method development trends tend to evolve parallel to food safety regulations. Microbiological testing of foods is an extremely challenging task due to the complexity of foods and for years, testing has relied almost exclusively on conventional methods, which are time-consuming and labor intensive. However, advances in biotechnology introduced many technologies which gave rise to “Rapid Methods” and these have had a great impact on food testing. Most rapid methods are more sensitive than conventional methods, but the increased sensitivity has also created some interesting challenges and problems with validation, as well as for the regulatory agencies and the food industry.

9:30 Taking Cutting Edge Laboratory Methods from R&D to the Food Microbiology Laboratory

Stan Bailey, Ph.D., Senior Director, Scientific Affairs, Industry, bioMerieux 

Transitioning a method developed in an R&D laboratory to a commercial method that meets the needs and capabilities of diverse testing laboratories is difficult.  The epidemiological needs of public health and regulatory laboratories are usually different than those of private or commercial food laboratories who primarily need to know if their products are safe and meet specifications. This presentation will highlight pathogen detection, microbial identification, and enumeration and sterility confirmation technologies that have been successfully converted from R&D to public and private food laboratories.

10:00 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


10:45 Rapid Identification of Bacteria and Bacterial Species by Multiplex PCR

Lan Hu, Ph.D., Microbiologist, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Multiplex PCR is a valuable tool for rapidly identifying suspected bacteria isolates from clinical, environmental, and food borne outbreak and surveillance investigations. Primer sequences can be chosen by multiple alignment analysis of relative bacterial gene sequences. Multiplex PCR can be used to identify bacteria to the species or strain level in parallel or single-tube reactions.

11:15 Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli: Update on Methods and Tools for Rapid Detection, Identification, and Isolation

Pina Fratamico, Ph.D., Research Microbiologist, Research Leader at USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serotype O157:H7 and many non-O157 serogroups are important food-borne pathogens that have been linked to numerous outbreaks and sporadic cases of gastrointestinal illness and hemolytic uremic syndrome worldwide. In recent years, much progress has been made in understanding the virulence of these pathogens, and PCR-based test kits and other materials such as immumomagnetic separation reagents and latex agglutination kits useful for detection, identification, and isolation of STEC have become available. However, additional research in the development of selective and differential agars for isolation of, particularly, non-O157 STEC strains is needed.


11:45 Detection of Norovirus in Food and Environmental Samples: The Poster Child for Sample Preparation

Lee-Ann Jaykus, Ph.D., Scientific Director, USDA-NIFA Food Virology Collaborative (NoroCORE), Department of Food, Bioprocessing & Nutrition Sciences, North Carolina State University

Norovirus (NoV) is the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis and foodborne illnesses in the US. Because human NoV cannot be cultivated in vitro, cultural enrichment is not possible. This presentation focuses on the unique aspects of virus detection in foods, and recent advances to facilitate sample preparation and detection, including emerging ligands for virus concentration; methods to discriminate infectious from non-infectious NoV; and advanced detection platforms. Attendees will come away with a better understanding of the unique difficulties in detecting NoV in foods, and the ways in which addressing the NoV detection problem might impact sample preparation and improve time-to-results for bacterial food borne pathogen screening as well.

12:15 pm Closing Remarks and End of Conference

For more details on the meeting, please contact the conference organizing committee:

Byron Brehm-Stecher
Associate Professor
Rapid Microbial Detection and Control Laboratory
Iowa State University
Phone: (+1) 515-294-6469(+1) 515-294-6469
Email: byron@iastate.edu

Arun Bhunia
Professor Food Science
Purdue University
Phone: (+1) 765-494-5443(+1) 765-494-5443
Email: bhunia@purdue.edu

Craig Wohlers
General Manager
Knowledge Foundation, a division of CHI
Phone: (+1) 781-972-6260(+1) 781-972-6260
Email: cwohlers@knowledgefoundation.com

For partnering and sponsorship information, please contact:
Sherry Johnson
Business Development Manager
Knowledge Foundation, a division of CHI
Phone: (+1) 781-972-1359
Email: sjohnson@healthtech.com

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