Food Safety and Supply

Reducing foodborne illnesses in humans and monitoring food products from production to consumption, thereby guaranteeing the safety and accessibility of our nation’s food supply.

Ensuring the safety of locally produced foods

Animal sciences assistant professor Christy Bratcher and a multidisciplinary team of scientists from Auburn and Tuskegee universities are working on a multi-year, $4.8 million grant from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to help ensure the safety of locally produced foods. The project’s title—“A systems approach to identifying and filling gaps in and between knowledge and practice in production and distribution of local and regional foods for a more secure food supply chain”—may be a mouthful, but it’s the study in a nutshell.

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Auburn study zeroes in on salmonella in ground poultry

Auburn University graduate student Elle Chadwick, under the direction of Ken Macklin, is studying antibiotic-resistant salmonella serotypes that are known to cause foodborne infections in humans. If the two-year salmonella study launched by Auburn University poultry scientist Ken Macklin were a sentence, you’d need two sheets of notebook paper to diagram it. It’s that complex. The goal, however, is simple: to reduce the incidence of salmonella in ground chicken.

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Improving access to healthy food

It sounds like the storyline of a summer feel-good flick: A typical kid grows up in the suburbs of Detroit, finishes high school and enlists in the Navy. As a member of the hospital corps, she spends a few years serving critical-care patients in the nation’s top military hospital, where she develops a passion for human health and a keen understanding of the role diet plays in it. When she’s assigned to a duty station in the Spanish countryside, another passion emerges—this time, for rural places. Back in the U.S., after 13 years of military service and three academic degrees, the Detroit kid is on the faculty at an agricultural college in the Deep South.

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Auburn scientists developing food pathogen detection system

A simple, economical tool that could be used to detect and identify harmful bacteria on food products in minutes instead of days and could significantly reduce the incidence of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. and beyond is in the works in biochemist Jacek Wower’s laboratory on Auburn University’s Ag Hill.

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