CHICAGO--Pathogens of emerging concern, the prevalence of microbial contamination in fresh produce, and ways to ensure the safety of fresh fruits and vegetables will be explored at the Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT's) 1998 Annual Meeting & FOOD EXPO in Atlanta in June.
Viral gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines) is the second leading cause of illness in the United States. Foodborne parasites can cause devastating health problems. "A Look Into the Future: Foodborne Viruses and Parasites" (Session 23, June 22, 9 AM) will explore ways to detect, identify, prevent, and control viruses and parasites in food and water. Included will be an overview of the most common foodborne viruses, such as Norwalk virus and Hepatitis A, and parasites, including Cyclospora cayetanensis (associated with the 1996 raspberry outbreak) and Cryptosporidium parvum (associated with outbreaks in municipal water and fresh apple cider). The mysterious Pfisteria piscicida, a waterborne protist (one-celled organism with plant and animal characteristics) that affects fish and possibly human health, will also be discussed. Viruses and parasites may be transmitted to food via contaminated water where seafood is harvested, drinking water, water used for irrigation, or water in the soil where produce is grown. As common transmission vehicles, shellfish and finfish are of particular concern. The challenges in identifying and monitoring waterborne parasites will be presented along with promising new technologies for identifying viruses. A presentation of ways to inactivate parasites and prevent viruses from entering the food supply will conclude the symposium.
"Resistance of Foodborne Pathogens to Antibiotics and Antimicrobials"
(Session 74, June 24, 9 AM) will address rising antimicrobial resistance in
pathogens, such as Campylobacter and Salmonella, which may make the diseases
they cause in humans difficult to overcome and potentially
Contact: Angela Dansby
(312) 782-8424 X134
Institute of Food Technologists