The Quadram Institute is helping to tackle challenges to food safety by studying how microbes evolve, spread, survive and compete in the food chain, and using the knowledge we gain to develop new ways of intervening to reduce the burden of foodborne illness and safely develop novel foods

The global burden of foodborne illness is massive, causing an estimated 420,000 deaths and 600 million cases of illness each year, according to the latest estimate by the World Health Organisation. Although 40% of cases are in young children, and the problem is most severe in low-income countries, food safety affects people of all ages and nationalities. In the UK, the Food Standards Agency estimates over a million people suffer a foodborne illness each year costing the economy over £1.5 billion.

The Quadram Institute is helping to tackle this problem by studying how microbes evolve, spread, survive and compete in the food chain. We use the knowledge we gain to develop new ways of intervening to reduce the burden of foodborne illness, and in the safe development of novel foods.

Within the Quadram Institute, we have the expertise and experience to work with the key bacteria of concern to food safety, coupled with genomics, metagenomics and bioinformatics excellence. This interdisciplinary approach is allowing us to get the fullest understanding yet of foodborne pathogenic bacteria across the entire food chain.

Our aim is to understand the genomic epidemiology of key foodborne pathogens, including Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, Listeria, Brachyspira, and Clostridium botulinum. This involves studying isolates taken from different sources across the food chain, including animals, soil, farms, water, food processing and the wider environment. We are using advanced genomic techniques, including developing novel sequencing and bioinformatic techniques, to understand the evolution of pathogenic bacteria, and to identify the genetic components responsible for their emergence, survival and transport through the food chain, and their ability to infect and cause disease in humans.

This involves studying bacterial strains in isolation, but importantly also includes aspects of microbial ecology, where we are using our expertise to understand microbial communities in the food chain, from the farm through to the gut microbiome. This facilitates our efforts to translate our findings into interventions targeting those foodborne pathogens, working with the food industry.

We work closely with the food industry to translate our findings into specific interventions targeting foodborne pathogens in the food chain, as well as in the development of novel foods, in response to consumer demand for improved quality, longer shelf life and reductions in preservatives, salt and sugar. Our research is delivering new, minimally processed foods that meet these demands, but maintain a high level of food safety.

Targeting food safety
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditDigg thisShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Research Groups Working on Food Safety

Kemsley group

Kemsley group

Analytical Sciences - methods development and innovation

Kingsley group

Kingsley group

Pathogen variation

Korcsmaros group

Korcsmaros group

Systems Biology of Gut-Microbe Interactions

Narbad group

Narbad group

Translational microbiome

Peck group

Peck group

Biology of Clostridium botulinum

Roberts group/NCYC

Roberts group

National Collection of Yeast Cultures

Schuller group

Schüller group

Pathogenesis of diarrhoeagenic E. coli

Wilde group

Wilde group

Food structure, colloids and digestion

Pallen group

Pallen group

Bacterial Genomics and Metagenomics

Webber group

Webber group

Investigating the evolution of antimicrobial resistance

Related News

Assessing a new technique for ensuring fresh produce remains Salmonella-free

View

Bacillus cereus

View

Bacteriophages battle superbugs

View

Battling biofilms in the fight against Campylobacter

View

Scientists spend a week at Westminster

View
Houses of Parliament

Diversity in C. botulinum germination

View

New technique to beat the food fraudsters

View

Little gut reaction to enterohaemorrhagic E. coli

View
Scanning electron micrograph showing EHEC (red) adhering to human intestinal biopsy epithelium

New insights into how we fight bacterial infection

View

UK-China Joint Centre for Probiotics Research

View

Microevolution key to Salmonella’s success

View

How probiotic protects against pathogen infection in the gut

View

Discovery of mechanism for transfer of botulinum neurotoxin genes

View

New research quantifies Clostridium botulinum spores in raw food materials

View

Tying up the ends of Tanzania’s meat supply chain

View

Spores for thought: study provides new insights into Clostridium spores

View

Reading Salmonella’s genetic secrets

View

E. coli’s intimate relationships with your colon

View

Is food a possible route of Clostridium difficile infection?

View

IFR announces test for detecting horse meat

View

New insights into botulism toxin

View

New insights into how our guts fight off invaders

View

Caution needed in feeding food waste to pigs

View

Poultry probiotic’s coat clues to ability to battle bugs

View

New ways of testing meat in the food chain

View

China Partnering Award to deliver safer foods

View

Is sous vide cooking safe?

View

New research to study toxin-producing E. coli strain

View

Poultry probiotic cuts its coat to beat bad bacteria

View

Contact killing of Salmonella Typhimurium by human faecal bacteria

View

Mining the botulinum genome

View