Foodborne pathogens are a serious topic for the food industry, with Campylobacter jejuni topping the list with around 280,000 cases of infection annually in the UK alone. However with recent scientific advancements in rapid, high throughput DNA sequencing, revolutionising the study of biology it is now possible to rapidly produce draft-quality genome sequences of the bacteria responsible for important foodborne diseases (including examples like Salmonella enterica, Listeria monocytogenes and Campylobacter jejuni).
Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies have a range of applications, including the sequencing of microbial genomes and culture-free identification of microbial communities. The implications of this for the food industry include improved source tracking of bacterial contaminants which has now become a reality with our new traceback service - OriGen
Our OriGen service involves DNA from a bacterial culture, followed by bioinformatic analysis and interpretation. So when sequence data is compared to other data about the sample origin, it becomes possible to rapidly detectand understand the spread of contamination with foodborne pathogens at an early stage.
For example, a study of single DNA base pair differences within and between subtypes of L.monocytogenes isolated from a number of delicatessens was able to distinguish between long-term persistence within a deli and repeated introduction from external sources.
* STASIEWICZ, M. J., OLIVER, H. F., WIEDMANN, M., DEN BAKKER, H. C. & ELKINS, C. A. 2015. Whole-Genome Sequencing Allows for Improved Identification of Persistent Listeria monocytogenes in Food-Associated Environments. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 81, 6024-6037
This pioneering technology can deliver invaluable information for a food business trying to deal with a long term contamination problem and or a recent outbreak. OriGen can aid in these investigations to avoid those costly recalls, reducing waste and saving money.
If you have questions about foodborne pathogen detection, product recall, or the regulatory environment; sometimes it requires another experienced person or team to help pull things together and move them ahead. Fera's consultancy service is made up of senior scientists who have extensive experience in the food industry that we can bring to bear on your research project which goes beyond analysis and scientific expertise.
To speak with us about this service, or for any other services, please contact the Customer Service Group on +44 (0)300 100 0323 or e-mail us
A new and exciting food contamination assessment service is now available. OriGen will help to trace the problem back to its source and provide you with the tools to prevent future product recalls as a result of contamination – putting you back in control.
Telephone: +44 (0)300 100 0323
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Public trust has declined in the wake of recent product contaminations and recalls. High-profile recalls of flour, salad leaves and others may prompt consumers to question the safety of the food they are buying.
Download our recent white paper and presentation on the new ground breaking WGS (whole genome sequencing) application service that can be used to traceback the source of contamination in a product recall crisis. click here
Our teams often work in other commercial industry partners to bring new ideas and innovation to the forefront and our latest white paper considers the 'Safety Assessment of Food Contact Materials' and describes the issues of chemicals migrating into food from packaging materials, the need to assess the safety of those chemicals that migrate, and the role that high-resolution mass spectrometry has to play in the related analysis.
To download the white paper click here
The 'International Symposium on Flame Retardants' is a series of conferences on safety aspects of flame retardants.
Bringing together international experts from industry, governments and academia latest research will be shared and evaluated, in an effort to propose new measures to reduce risk from the use of flame retardants.
Register your interest here: