The committee achieves its mission through supporting sound science, sponsoring break-through research and fostering collaboration with academia, government, and industry.
Why is this research valuable?
In advance of setting priorities for each new research cycle, the committee and its scientific advisors hold a research roundtable with representatives of the following federal and international agencies: the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the US Food and Drug Administration/Center for Food Safety and Nutrition (FDA/CFSAN); the US Food and Drug Administration/Office of Food and Veterinary Medicine and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of the USDA, European Food Safety Authority and Health Canada. The objective of these roundtable discussions is to identify emerging food microbiology research needs considered critical to public health.
Research Grant Cycles
Salmonella in Low Moisture Foods
Outbreaks of Salmonella in peanut paste and peanut butter prompted the committee to issue an accelerated request for proposals related to technology and process to control Salmonella in low-moisture foods. To complement this request for proposals, the committee published a white paper titled “Critical Research Needs in Food Safety Microbiology” (Food Protection Trends, December 2009) to provide additional guidance on the issue.
- “Influence of Water Mobility on Persistence of Salmonella in Low-Moisture Foods” by Dr. Joseph Frank, University of Georgia
- “Improved Process Validation Strategies for Salmonella Inactivation on Low-Moisture Food Products Subjected to Thermal Pasteurization Processes” by Dr. Bradley Marks, Michigan State University
- “Thermal Inactivation and Survival of Salmonella in Food as a Function of Water Activity and Fat Level” by Dr. Elena Enache, Grocery Manufacturers Association Foundation Science and Education Foundation.
In Spring 2012, ILSI North America Technical Committee on Food Microbiology 2010 grant recipient, Dr. Bradley Marks, Michigan State University, was awarded two USDA NIFA grants in the amounts of $542,824 and $496,514. Both grants were largely made possible by preliminary work completed under the ILSI North America funded project, “Improved Process Validation Strategies for Salmonella Inactivation on Low-Moisture Food Products Subjected to Thermal Pasteurization Processes”. The USDA grants total $1,039,338 and will run for three years.
Rapid Detection of Viral Pathogens and Control of Salmonella in Low-Moisture Foods (2008–2011 Grant Cycle)
The committee sponsored the following two projects:
- “Capture and Concentration of Selected Food-Borne Pathogens in Complex Sample Matrices Using DNA and RNA Aptamers” by Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus at NCSU
- “Inactivation of Salmonella on Raw Nuts Using Low-Energy X-Ray” by Dr. Sanghyup Jeong, Michigan State University.
Selection and characterization of DNA aptamers with binding selectivity to Campylobacter jejuni using whole-cell SELEX
Hari P. Dwivedi, R. Derike Smiley and Lee-Ann Jaykus
The effect of X-rayirradiation on Salmonellainactivation and sensory quality of almonds and walnuts as a function of water activity
Sanghyup Jeong, Bradley P. Marks, Elliot T. Ryser, Janice B. Harte
North Carolina State University Investigator Receives USDA Grant
ILSI North America congratulates Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus, North Carolina State University (NCSU), on receiving a $25 million award from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Some of Dr. Jaykus's early work in this area was supported from grants provided by the ILSI North America Food Microbiology Committee. She will now be the principle investigator for multi-center study on noroviruses in an effort to design effective control measures across the food supply chain and reduce the number of foodborne illnesses caused by viruses.
In 2004, Dr. Jaykus received her first grant from the ILSI North America Technical Committee on Food Microbiology for her project "The Impact of Virus Survival, Persistence, and Transfer on the Transmission and Risk of Foodborne Disease." She subsequently received a second grant in 2008 for the project "Capture and Concentration of Selected Foodborne Pathogens in Complex Sample Matrices Using DNA and RNA Aptamers." The committee has always sought to be ahead of the curve in research funding, especially by providing seed money for basic scientific research projects of a progressive nature. The committee's initial support of Dr. Jaykus's projects is an excellent example of the success and validation of its grant process. The project’s timeliness and the long-term applicability of the research findings have aided in securing additional significant funding.
Citation: Liu P, Chien Y-W, Papafragkou E, Hsiao H-M, Jaykus L-A, Moe C. Persistence of human noroviruses on food preparation surfaces and human hands. Food Environ Virol. 2009;1(3–4):141–147.
Journal of Food Protection Citation Award
The Journal of Food Protection announced a Committee on Food Microbiology-funded project as the second highest cited article in the Journal from May 2006 to 2011. The article is titled "International Life Science Institute North America Listeria monocytogenes Strain Collection: Development of Standard Listeria monocytogenes Strain Sets for Research and Validation."
Citation: Fugett E, Fortes E, Nnoka C, Wiedmann M. International Life Sciences Institute North America Listeria monocytogenes strain collection: development of standard Listeria monocytogenes strain sets for research and validation studies. J Food Prot. 2006;69(12):2929–2938.
Kraft Heinz Company
Starbucks Coffee Company
Michigan State University
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
IAFP 2016 Annual Meeting
St. Louis, Missouri
31 July - 3 August 2016
The committee is sponsoring 3 sessions
Established in 2001 for Listeria monocytogenes isolates and housed at Cornell University, the ILSI North America Reference Strain Collection was expanded in 2006 to include the strain set and subtyping data that emerged from the committee’s Enterobacter (now Cronobacter) sakazakii. In 2008, the strain collection was expanded again to include the strains set of Salmonella resulting from the Salmonella low-moisture projects. Isolates from the collection are distributed for a minimal charge to researchers around the world. This unique resource provides investigators with a standard set of isolates that improves comparison of study data. The Committee on Food Microbiology continues to support the expansion of the strain collection to include Salmonella isolates. Access the collection at Cornell University
Access references to publications generated by funding from the Committee on Food Microbiology prior to 2008: Publications Prior to 2008.
Sodium Reduction: A Practical Path Forward
The objective of this study was to examine the effects of inoculation preparation on the recoverability of Salmonella enterica from dried whole peppercorns and cumin seeds.
The objective of this study was to obtain dry inocula of Salmonella Tennessee and Enterococcus faecium, a surrogate for thermal inactivation of Salmonella in low-moisture foods, and to compare their thermal resistance and stability over time in terms of survival.
Long-term survival of heat-stressed Salmonella Tennessee, Salmonella Typhimurium DT104, and Enterococcus faecium was evaluated in four model peanut paste formulations with a combination of two water activity (aw) levels and two fat levels over 12 months at 20 ± 1°C.
Microbial contamination of peanut butter by Salmonella poses a significant health risk as Salmonella may remain viable throughout the product shelf life. Effective cleaning and sanitation of processing lines are essential for preventing cross-contamination.
This article, published in the Journal of Food Protection, discusses development of a framework for managing risk in low-moisture food commodities where large data sets are unavailable (using peanuts as the example).
Sessions organized by ILSI North America’s Food Microbiology and Food & Chemical Safety Committees.
This workshop was a collaboration between the ILSI North America Technical Committees on Food Microbiology and Sodium.
The ILSI North America Committees on Food & Chemical Safety and Food Microbiology hosted several sessions at the 2015 IAFP Annual Meeting.
The ILSI North America Technical Committees on Food Microbiology and Food & Chemical Safety sponsored scientific sessions at the 2014 International Association for Food Protection Annual Meeting.
The ILSI North America Technical Committee on Food Microbiology presented two studies on spices that the committee is currently funding.