Food Safety Centre
The food chain needs to supply safe, nutritious food to an ever-increasing world population whilst addressing unacceptable levels of human illness across the globe caused by bacterial foodborne pathogens.
Lead scientist: Mike Peck
At the IFR we investigate how bacteria adapt to survive and multiply in the food chain and how they evade our defences to cause disease.
We focus on the three major foodborne bacterial pathogens of the greatest concern in the UK: Salmonella, Campylobacter and Clostridium botulinum. Salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria are major causes of food poisoning in the UK and worldwide. C. botulinum is responsible for botulism, a severe and deadly disease, and hence a major concern for the food industry.
We provide microbiological food safety solutions for industry, for example on extending shelf life, whilst conducting leading edge fundamental research on the biology of foodborne pathogenic bacteria.
Our science combines microbiology, molecular biology, mathematics, and increasingly includes high-throughput genome sequencing for molecular epidemiology. Complex data sets are analysed using systems biology and network analysis methods to better understand increasingly large amounts of data on foodborne bacteria and food safety.
Microbiological data curated in the ComBase National Capability helps ensure new food formulations are safe. The aim of this research is to prevent disease by minimising the risks posed by foodborne pathogens throughout the food supply chain.
Up to one third of people at risk from Campylobacter ...
Food Standards Agency figures show that 1 in 3 people face the risk of Campylobacter food poisoning throughout their lifetimemore +
Spores for thought: study provides new insights into Clostridium spores
IFR researchers have established how bacteria emerge from spores, to understand how these bacteria germinate andproduce the deadly botulsim toxinmore +
Reading Salmonella's genetic secrets
To mark World Health Day's focus on safe food, Dr Rob Kingsley talks about his research into Salmonellamore +
Battling biofilms in the fight against Campylobacter
A new study has highlighted a potential new way of battling the persistence of Campylobacter in the food chain.more +