The Institute for Food Safety and Health is hosting a workshop on Whole Genome Sequencing for Foodsafety on March 16, 2015 in Bedford Park, Illinois. The workshop is available to either attend in-person or access as a webinar.
Whole genome sequencing (WGS) technology has emerged as a new high-resolution tool for rapid and accurate differentiation and tracing of foodborne pathogens to their sources of contamination to facilitate implementation of adequate food safety control measures. The FDA has created an integrated pilot network of state and federal laboratories to use WGS to enhance trace back of foodborne pathogens. Known as GenomeTrakr, the network is creating a publically available, global database containing the genetic makeup of thousands of foodborne disease-causing bacteria including Salmonella, Listeria, E. coliand other common foodborne pathogens. The WGS initiative is impacting regulatory science in FDA’s Foods Program. This workshop will provide an opportunity for the food industry to learn about the latest development of the WGS technology, and discuss how the food industry can benefit from these new capabilities. An Industry Working Group is expected to be established as one of the outcomes of the workshop to facilitate the use of WGS technology benefiting the food industry.