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UW-Madison Food Research Institute

Pathogenic microorganisms

Reviews on emerging and known bacterial, viral, fungal, and protozoan pathogens and toxins and diseases associated; BSE, chronic sequelae


The FRI Food Safety Reviews are summaries of current scientific literature, focusing on special topics of current interest. These reviews replace the extensive annual food safety literature survey formerly published by FRI, and now number more than 30 since inception of the Briefings in 1996.


Sep 2013 Review of Epidemiology of Foodborne Listeriosis

"Pathways for introduction of Listeria into different foods and strategies for preventing contamination and growth in foods are reviewed. Recent data from surveillance studies, outbreak investigations, and economic costs are presented." PDF document Read the full text

Aug 2013 Spores of Clostridium botulinum in Dried Dairy Products (FRI Sponsors Science News Alert)

"A recent report of presumptive C. botulinum spores in whey protein concentrate (WPC) generated questions about potential risks and strategies for control of spores in dried dairy products. This document was prepared to address Frequently Asked Questions regarding this episode." PDF document Read the full text

Apr 2013 White Paper on Human Illness Caused by Salmonella from all Food and Non-Food Vectors, Update 2013

"This update to the February 2009 FRI white paper on Salmonella discusses important food and non-food vehicles for outbreaks of salmonellosis during the past five years, routes of infection, interventions, current surveillance reports, and antimicrobial resistance." PDF document Read the full text

Jan 2013 Clostridium difficile as a Risk Associated with Animal Sources

"C. difficile, a common cause of diarrhea in healthcare settings, has become more prominent in the community as more virulent strains emerge. This paper reviews data on epidemiology of C. difficile, including the potential for foodborne transmission. " PDF document Read the full text

Jul 2012 D-Values References

"D-values references list prepared to accompany the FRI interactive webinar: Calculating Thermal Inactivation of Pathogens" PDF document Read the full text

Feb 2012 Helicobacter spp. — Food- or Waterborne Pathogens?

"Although H. pylori is a known cause of ulcers and gastric cancer, it resides in the gastrointestinal tract of about half the world's population who are usually asymptomatic. Some other Helicobacter species infect mammals, birds and reptiles. Transmission of H. pylori is not well understood because these bacteria enter a viable but nonculturable state when exposed to stressful conditions outside the body.
Appendix: Earlier review on Helicobacter pylori (1997)." PDF document Read the full text

Aug 2011 Toxins from Cyanobacteria

"Human exposure to cyanobacterial toxins primarily occurs through ingestion of contaminated water or shellfish, with some additional exposure through dietary supplements, other foods, and aerosols from lakes with cyanobacterial blooms. This review addresses recent information on microcystins, β-methylamino-L-alanine, paralytic shellfish toxins, and anatoxin-a.
Appendix: Earlier review on the alga Pfiesteria (1998)." PDF document Read the full text

Feb 2011 White Paper on Sources of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Other Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococci: Implications for Our Food Supply?

"Methicillin-resistant staphylococci: infections in animals and humans, presence in food, and potential food safety implications" PDF document Read the full text

Jun 2010 White Paper on Effectiveness of Existing Interventions on Virus Inactivation in Meat and Poultry Products

"Human enteric viruses and animal viruses potentially present in foods; outbreaks and effective control methods " PDF document Read the full text

Apr 2010 Non-O157:H7 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli from meat and non-meat sources

"Epidemiology, detection, outbreaks, infection routes, and interventions" PDF document Read the full text

Feb 2009 Human Illness Caused by Salmonella from all Food and Non-Food Vectors

"Food and non-food vehicles of infection for human outbreaks of salmonellosis, surveillance strategies, and industry initiatives to control Salmonella spp. " PDF document Read the full text

Aug 2007 Destruction of H5N1 Avian Influenza Virus in Meat and Poultry Products

"Effects of heat, irradiation, and high pressure on avian influenza viruses present in meat and eggs, sanitation methods for environmental decontamination." PDF document Read the full text

Jul 2007 Microbial Food Spoilage and Losses and Control Strategies

"Bacteria, yeasts, and molds causing food spoilage, factors affecting shelf-life of meats, dairy products, fish, cereals, vegetables, fruits, and juices." PDF document Read the full text

Oct 2006 Human Illness Caused by E. coli O157:H7 from Food and Non-food Sources

"Epidemiology, outbreaks, infection routes, surveillance, regulations, interventions." PDF document Read the full text

Nov 2004 Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy: update

"Update of previous review; prion structure, analytical methods; CWD, BSE, and other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.
Appendix, earlier BSE briefs: historical review, current issues and strategies for control of transmission spongiform encephalopathies (1996-2002)." PDF document Read the full text

Oct 2003 Foodborne Parasites

"Protozoa, Tapeworms, Anisakis, Trichinella, lung and liver flukes, Ascaris.
Appendix: Earlier review on Cryptosporidium and Cyclospora: Protozoan parasites, waterborne outbreaks, contamination of fresh produce (1996)." PDF document Read the full text

Mar 2002 Survival and Growth of Clostridium perfringens during the Cooling Step of Thermal Processing of Meat Products

"Heat resistance in uncured and cured meats; Efficiency of different cooling processes; Growth inhibitors." PDF document Read the full text

Oct 2001 Virulence Characteristics of Listeria monocytogenes

"Strain variation; Invasion and Spread; Host Defenses; Virulence factors." PDF document Read the full text

Mar 2001 Heat Resistance of Listeria monocytogenes

"Data from experiments with laboratory media and foods and importance of Listeria serotype and culture conditions and food composition. J. Food Protection 64(3):410-429 (2001)."

Jun 2000 Salmonella Thermal Resistance

"Data from experiments with laboratory media and foods and importance of Salmonella serotype and culture conditions and food composition. J. Food Protection 63:779-795 (2000)."

Nov 1999 Various Techniques Used in Listeria Intervention

"RTE products; organic acids, bacteriocins, thermal processes, irradiation, modified atmosphere packaging, high pressure, UV light, Ultrasound." PDF document Read the full text

Nov 1998 Non-Cholera Vibrios

"Vibrio vulnificus, V. parahaemolyticus; shellfish; wound infections." PDF document Read the full text

Jul 1998 Campylobacter - Chronic Effects

"Food vectors; Guillain-Barr syndrome." PDF document Read the full text

Dec 1997 Fusarium Mycotoxins

"Pre- and post-harvest approaches to control DON and fumonisins." PDF document Read the full text

Apr 1997 Mycobacterium paratuberculosis — Another Emerging Pathogen of the Human Gastrointestinal Tract?

"Presence in milk; possible link to Crohn's disease." PDF document Read the full text

Jan 1997 Emergence of a Highly Virulent Strain of Salmonella typhimurium

"Multiple antibiotic resistance." PDF document Read the full text