E.coli O157 & Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome

New project to prevent food poisoning

31st October 2011

Scientists at Aberystwyth University are developing a system to identify miniscule traces of faecal contamination on chicken carcases in abattoirs that can cause food poisoning outbreaks. Although invisible to the human eye, the smallest trace of contamination can harbour millions of potentially pathogenic micro-organisms and enter the human food chain.

The Improved Food Safety initiative - a Collaborative Industrial Research Project undertaken by the University's Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) - aims to develop a natural additive to poultry feed that will result in ultra-violet fluorescence of faeces.

The additive, a water soluble chlorophyll based marker approved by the Food Standards Agency, would be fed to poultry during the last few days of finishing. When screened in abattoirs using fluorescence imaging, the markers would show up and identify any contamination. By doing so, any microbial contamination can be greatly reduced or removed completely, depending on the method of intervention.

The research project is supported with funding from the Welsh Governments Academic Expertise for Business (A4B), an initiative backed by European funding designed to increase collaboration between academia and industry and drive forward the commercialisation of research.

The project builds on novel technology IBERS is currently developing to detect faecal contamination of red meat. That project has developed markers that can be added to the diet of ruminants to increase fluorescence of faecal matter that can be detected when screened.

A patent application has been filed for this technology and resulted in significant industry attention with requests to take up licensing of the technology in China and India, as well as significant interest from the US and Latin America.

The Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales, Prof John Harries, said the project had the potential to make a significant impact on food safety while also creating economic benefits for the food industry in Wales. It also clearly illustrates the value of collaborative industrial research between business and academia, aimed at turning good ideas into commercial propositions, bringing new products and processes onto the market.

1 of 46
Next > Last >>

1st February 2024

A recent news article in the Environmental Health News indicates the concerns the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) have over UK food safety being at risk, due to lack of staff. Food safety allocated posts supporte... on
2nd January 2024

On the 29th December 2023 the FSA stated on their website “Chiltern Artisan recalls Chilli Sticks because of contamination with E. Coli. Chiltern Artisan has taken the precautionary step of recalling Chiltern Artisan Chilli Sticks because E. Coli has been fo... on
28th December 2023

Amy Douglas, Incident Director for Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety Division at UKHSA, said: "There have been at least 30 confirmed cases of this specific outbreak strain of STEC in the UK." - Link below. ... on
25th December 2023

The recall for Route des Terroirs is recalling Morbier Maison Monts & Terroirs Chalet De Vevy Raw Cows’ Milk Cheese because Shiga toxin-producing E.coli has been found in some batches of this product. This recall was announced today 25/12/2023. ... on
6th December 2023

Information Rights Team ... on
1 of 46
Next > Last >>

Designed by Robert Woods. View our Cookie & Privacy Policy