Food Micro

The Basics of Bacteria and Beer QC

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to share some beers with the founder of an up-and-coming brewery based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The past few years have been a time of tremendous growth in the craft brewing industry….
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Books for Microbiologists and Anyone Who Loves Science

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”  – Oscar Wilde Microbiologists have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Keep learning after you leave the lab by reading…
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A Valentine’s Day Ode to Ella (the Infamous Salmonella)

There once was a little bacilli named Ella, who was of the genus (the infamous!) Salmonella. She lived in the earth on a hot, humid farm, in the shade of a cocoa tree, where she inflicted no harm.   Ella…
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What Microbes Might Attend Your Holiday Party?

This holiday season, you will unwittingly indulge upon a wide variety of microorganisms.  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, microbes are certain to be present at your dinner table. Be sure to avoid the harmful microorganisms and celebrate with…
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What Labs Should Know about STECs

STEC may not be a household term, but it is of great significance to food and clinical laboratories. In this post, we will describe what laboratories can do to help protect the public from this harmful and increasingly important group…
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The Who’s Who of E. coli Strains

Escherichia coli may be the world’s most recognized bacterial species, but this one species varies tremendously. E. coli is found almost everywhere; from soil to raw meat to human intestines. There are plenty of good E. coli strains such as…
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Norovirus: The Notorious Virus

The average soccer ball is about 1.6 million times bigger than a grain of sand. A grain of sand is about a million times bigger than a single bacterial cell, and a single bacterial cell can be 40 to 100…
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Green Fluorescent Protein: Shining New Light on Food QC

  Images of plankton illuminating shorelines and the brilliant, glowing colors of deep-sea marine life fascinate and amaze us. Bioluminescent organisms are not only beautiful; they are a source for important life science reagents. Scientists have used genes from glowing species, such…
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Environmental Isolate Case Files: Listeria monocytogenes

Ubiquitous in nature, Listeria monocytogenes can be found in many contamination sources making it difficult to eliminate from food processing facilities. Characteristics, such as the ability to grow at refrigerator temperatures, form biofilms, thrive in moist conditions, and remain viable in high…
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