Governor’s Conference on Ensuring Food Safety: E. coli O157:H7 and other STECs – Progress and Challenges & STEC CAP Annual Conference

Based on recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) causes approximately 230,000 cases of illness in the United States annually, and slightly more than 1.0% of these cases results in hospitalization and life-threatening complications. A new conference to be held May 27-29, 2014 at the Embassy Suites-Lincoln will present the latest research on STEC and progress in their prevention and control as sources of foodborne illness.image001

The conference will be the first conference combining the annual STEC CAP conference and the Governor’s Conference on Food Safety. Invited speakers are leading experts on the biology and ecology of STEC and its development, transmission and epidemiology as well as experts on regulation and public policy, the food industry and consumer protection.

The research presented at the conference is funded by a 5-year, $25M grant from the USDA that currently involves 15 universities and other institutions nationwide. The universities involved are: University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Kansas State University; North Carolina State University; the University of California-Davis; the University of Delaware; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; the New Mexico Consortium; USDA-Agricultural Research Service; New Mexico State University; University of New Mexico; Texas A&M University; University of Tennessee-Knoxville; Mississippi State University; Eastern Maryland Shore, and Alabama A&M University. Dr. Rod Moxley, Veterinary Science Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is the Project Director.

“The long-term goal of the project is to reduce the occurrence and public health risks from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in beef, while preserving an economically viable and sustainable beef industry,” Moxley said. “This can only be accomplished by a multi-institutional effort that brings together complementary teams of the nation’s experts whose expertise spans the entire beef chain continuum and then sharing the research findings through conferences such as this.”

For more information about the conference, see -conference.

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.