Reducing human foodborne illness through improved food safety and reducing food waste due to microbial spoilage.

Our Microbes and Food Safety research programme aims to reduce human foodborne illness through improved food safety and reduce food waste due to microbial spoilage.

There are 2.4 million cases of foodborne illness reported in the UK each year, costing £9 billion to the UK economy.

Moreover, we waste up to 50% of the food we produce globally. Microbes are responsible for up to 25% of food spoilage and cause a negative impact right across the global food chain.

Using our expertise in microbiology and genomics combined with cutting-edge technology, we provide the evidence base to address current and emerging threats to food safety and food security.

Our Microbes and Food Safety research programme addresses key food safety questions including:

  • What and where are the microbial threats in foods?
  • What are the factors associated with the survival and success of microbial threats?
  • How can we improve food safety and reduce food waste?

We are an interdisciplinary innovation hub, bringing together partners with diverse skills across the food chain to translate research findings into industry, and policy.

Key Academic Partners

Key strategic partners

A black background with a spherical form of green and purple bacteria. Radiating out from the central spherical form and green and purple streaks.

Alison Mather

Epidemiology, genomics and antimicrobial resistance of bacteria

Narbad group

Arjan Narbad

Translational microbiome

Cynthia Whitchurch

Bacterial lifestyles

Evelien Adriaenssens

Gut viruses & viromics

Gemma Langridge

Bacterial niche adaptation

John Wain

Bacterial diversity and tropical infections

Webber group

Mark Webber

Investigating the evolution of antimicrobial resistance

Web banner yellow and white dishes on a green background. Plastic utensils. Ecological problem. Kitchen. Culinary blog.

Matthew Gilmour

Listeria and other invasive pathogens

Berazza group

Naiara Beraza

Mechanisms regulating the gut-liver axis during health and disease

Juge group

Nathalie Juge

Glycobiology of host-microbe interactions in the gut

Nicol Janecko

Campylobacter in the food chain

Microscopy image of Salmonella with a genomic map overlaid

Rob Kingsley

Pathogen variation


Targeting antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial Resistance


Targeting food safety

Food Safety

Targeting Future Foods

Future Foods

Targeting the understanding of the microbiome

Understanding the Microbiome

Food Spoilage

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