Food Science Profs In the News

July 23, 2009 - In the News

Food science professor Keith Warriner was interviewed by numerous national news agencies about a new federal report on last year's listeriosis outbreak that killed at least 22 people and sickened hundreds.

The report, which outlines events that led to the outbreak, identifies deficiencies in the system and makes recommendations, follows an independent investigation that was led by Sheila Weatherill, the former president and CEO of Capital Health in Edmonton.

Food Science Prof. Mansel Griffiths, director of the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety, was a member of the five-person Expert Advisory Group that assisted Weatherill in her inquiry. Griffiths, a listeria and food-borne micro-organisms expert, is currently researching the rapid detection of food-borne pathogens, factors controlling growth and survival of microorganisms in foods and beneficial uses of microorganisms, among other things.

Warriner, a food safety expert, was on CBC Radio's Metro Morning today discussing Weatherill's findings and recommendations. On Tuesday he was interviewed by CBC Radio’s News at Six. He also did live interviews with more than a dozen CBC Radio affiliate stations across the country and appeared on CTV Southwestern Ontario’s evening news.

Earlier this month, he was featured in a CBC online news story about provincial versus federal meat inspections and was the subject of a Canadian Press article about food safety and lettuce.

At U of G, Warriner and his research team have developed decontamination methods to improve food safety, including an effective way to sterilize seeds used to produce bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts and other types of sprouts – culprits in several major food-borne illness outbreaks around the world. They have also tested the effectiveness of an all-purpose sanitizing system that is supposed to neutralize bacteria and pesticides on food and surfaces.

Warriner also discovered a method that could effectively eliminate Salmonella contamination by combining a bacterium naturally found on tomatoes with viruses.

University of Guelph
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