FRI News

Nov 28, 2016

Gut’s Microbial Community Shown to Influence Host Gene Expression

Federico Rey, an FRI affiliated faculty member, is co-corresponding author of a new report that has identified yet another key role of the microbes that live within us: mediator of host gene expression through the epigenome, the chemical information that regulates which genes in cells are active.

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Nov 28, 2016

Wisconsin Public Radio Interviews Mark Cook on Antibiotic Resistance

Wisconsin researchers like FRI Executive Committee member Mark Cook are part of a global effort to change immunization practices to prevent antibiotic resistance.

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Nov 08, 2016

Deibels Donate $1M to Establish FRI Endowed Fellowships in Food Safety, Probiotics

FRI has received a generous donation from Robert and Carol Deibel to establish two endowed graduate fellowships, one in food safety and the other in probiotics. Robert Deibel, a former UW-Madison professor and longtime friend of FRI, and his wife, Carol, have committed a gift of $1 million to establish these endowed fellowships.

The gift will receive a “Nicholas Match,” which will double its value to $2 million. The Deibel gift, together with the match from the Nicholas Foundation, will be used to fund the two graduate fellowships, which will be awarded by FRI.

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Nov 07, 2016

Jeff Sindelar Named One of the 25 Future Icons of the Meat Industry

Congratulations to FRI Executive Committee member Jeff Sindelar, who recently was featured in the National Provisioner as one of the 25 future icons of the meat industry.

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Oct 17, 2016

Ham Salting Ceremony Launches Construction of New UW-Madison Meat Science Building

On Oct. 14, the meat science program eschewed traditional hard hats and shovels in favor of hair nets and food safe gloves to celebrate the launch of construction for the new Meat Science Building. Rather than a traditional groundbreaking event, they marked this milestone with a ham salting ceremony at DeJope Hall.

The new Meat Science Building, which will be built on the site of the current Seeds facility, will include ample space for hands-on teaching and training, production facilities to develop new meat products, laboratories to isolate pathogens for food safety research, and collaborative space to discover new applications for non-meat animal co-products.

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Oct 14, 2016

Jeff Sindelar Talks About the New UW Meat Science Building

Jeff Sindelar, FRI Executive Committee member, talks about the new UW Meat Science Building on this week's podCALS.

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Oct 03, 2016

USDA FSIS Changes Policy on Cooling Naturally Cured Meat in Response to FRI Research

In response to research and discussions by FRI Executive Committee Members Jeff Sindelar and Andy Milkowski, former student Amanda King, and FRI Associate Director Kathy Glass, USDA FSIS has changed its policy on how meat or poultry made with natural sources of nitrite can be stabilized (cooled). Previously, USDA FSIS Appendix B allowed meat and poultry that was conventionally cured with purified nitrite to follow a longer cooling option (15 hours total) than that required for uncured products (6.5 hours total). However, extended cooling did not apply to meat or poultry produced with cultured celery powder or another alternative nitrite source because data was unavailable to demonstrate it had the same food safety properties as purified nitrite. King and Sindelar’s research demonstrated that equivalent amounts of nitrite, no matter the source, were equally effective at inhibiting pathogen outgrowth (Clostridium perfringens) during cooling. As a result, FSIS now allows the third cooling option to be used in meat and poultry with natural sources of nitrite as long as the 100 ppm nitrite and 250 ppm ascorbate (which can be from cherry powder) or another cure accelerator are included in product formulations.

Sep 29, 2016

FRI's Adam Borger Discusses the Latest Food Safety Research

Food Industry Executive talked with Adam Borger, Outreach Program Manager for the Food Research Institute, about some of the most recent research in food safety and technology.

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Aug 28, 2016

Science and Cooking Collide to Fight Botulism

FRI Executive Committee member Eric Johnson has just returned from Alaska where he has been collaborating with Alaska Natives and the State of Alaska Food Safety and Sanitation Program to eliminate Clostridium botulinum risks associated with seal oil so it can be safely and legally distributed. Seal oil is a traditional food used as part of the daily diet of many Alaskans, but it has been prohibited from distribution because of botulism risks.

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Jul 13, 2016

Kathy Glass Discusses Caramel Apple Outbreak at CPS Research Symposium

FRI Associate Director Kathy Glass recently discussed lessons learned during the 2014–15 Listeria outbreak in caramel apples in a presentation at the CPS Research Symposium in late June.

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May 19, 2016

Laura Knoll on Conveying Discovery to a Broad Audience

FRI Executive Committee member Laura Knoll wrote a personal essay on the need for scientists to convey their passion and enthusiasm for the discovery process to the public for this month’s PLOS Pathogens.

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May 11, 2016

Sindelar Receives 2016 Pound Extension Award

Jeff Sindelar — FRI Executive Committee member, UW-Madison associate professor, and UW-Extension meat specialist — received the 2016 Pound Extension Award from the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

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May 04, 2016

Mark Cook to Help Develop Poultry Vaccine Using Nanotechnology

Mark Cook, FRI Executive Committee member and professor of animal science, will participate on a research team focused on developing a poultry vaccine using nanotechnology.

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May 02, 2016

FRI Remembers John Cerveny, 1933–2016

John Cerveny, an Honorary Fellow of FRI, passed away on April 10, 2016. During John's 37-year career at Oscar Mayer, he was instrumental in protecting the processed meat industry against food safety problems. During that time, he co-authored many significant publications and is acknowledged on three significant patents. After his official "retirement" in 1996, and during his time as an industry food safety consultant, he remained actively involved in issues relating to food safety and was recognized as one of the country's leading food microbiologists. He had long-standing relationships with many professional organizations, including the International Association of Food Protection, the International Life Sciences Institute, the Institute of Food Technologists and FRI.

John's family will greet folks from 11:30 a.m.–12 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 7337 Hubbard Ave., Middleton, WI 53562 with a celebration of John's life to follow at noon. There will be a light reception at the church following services.

For those who wish to do so, a remembrance in John's name could be provided to establish a fund supporting students and programs associated with FRI (collected by the family until plans can be finalized) or to Middleton's Pheasant Branch Conservancy at

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Mar 29, 2016

FRI Faculty Among 2016 CALS Honorees

Congratulations to FRI Executive Committee members Jeff Sindelar and Mark Cook, both from Animal Sciences, who are among this year's CALS staff and faculty honorees. Sindelar will receive the Pound Extension Award, while Cook will receive the Robert G. F. and Hazel T. Spitze Land Grant Faculty Award for Excellence.

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Mar 07, 2016

Mark Cook Participates in Panel on Antibiotic Use in Animals

A panel discussion on antibiotic use in animals was held on March 1. Sponsored by the UW-Madison Collegiate Farm Bureau, the panel included FRI Executive Committee Mark Cook, who said he is “very concerned” about antibiotic use on farms, primarily because there are a limited number of antibiotics available that are effective at treating animal illnesses. He said experts need to come up with new strategies for fighting the microorganisms that prompt farmers to turn to antibiotics.

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Mar 06, 2016

Andrew Milkowski to be Inducted into Wisconsin Meat Industry Hall of Fame

Andrew Milkowski, an adjunct professor in the animal science department and FRI Executive Committee member, is one of three individuals who will be inducted into the Wisconsin Meat Industry Hall of Fame at a May 5 recognition ceremony.

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Mar 04, 2016

Food Research Institute Timeline: Keeping Food Safe for 70 Years

To celebrate its 70th anniversary since its founding and 50th year at UW-Madison, FRI has compiled a timeline to note key events and accomplishments throughout its history.

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Mar 01, 2016

Keeping Us Safe

For 70 years, the Food Research Institute has been illuminating and helping eradicate a host of foodborne illnesses.

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Feb 20, 2016

New Meat Science Lab Designed to Meet Evolving Needs of Industry, Science

The mission of the new UW-Madison Meat Science Laboratory is an example of the university's commitment to bring its knowledge to the people of the state: training the next generation of meat industry leaders, supporting innovative research with collaborative interdisciplinary efforts, providing outreach education and supporting the economic development of the meat industry.

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Feb 08, 2016

FRI Alumnus Named Acting USDA Chief Veterinary Officer

Dr. Jack Shere, an FRI alumnus from Dr. Chuck Kaspar's lab, has been named acting USDA chief veterinary officer and deputy administrator for Veterinary Services.

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Feb 02, 2016

Jeri Barak Discusses the Safety of Bagged Greens

Jeri Barak, associate professor of plant pathology and FRI Executive Committee member, discusses the risk of consuming prewashed, prepackaged greens with Men's Journal.

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Jan 24, 2016

Kathy Glass Featured on Barfblog for Research on Listeria in Apples

Kathy Glass started working at FRI 30 years ago studying various microbes — primarily those turning up in the meat and dairy industries — and assisting with food safety investigations. She added her first fruit case last year with a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak in caramel apples.

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Jan 22, 2016

FRI to Celebrate 70th Anniversary at 2016 Spring Meeting

FRI will commemorate its anniversary at its 2016 Spring Meeting on May 18–19 at the Fluno Center. Registration is now open for the scientific program, which will highlight FRI’s past research contributions while also looking at the future of food safety as well as other topics.

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