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New genomics research project to eliminate Listeria from food supply
Date:6/27/2013

This news release is available in French.

OTTAWA -- Genome Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions have partnered to support a $1.4 million project that will help protect consumers from Listeriosis, a serious foodborne illness caused by Listeria bacteria.

The project, led by Dr. Linda Chui of the University of Alberta, will sequence and map the genomes of many Listeria strains to identify those strains that are likely to be most harmful to human health as well as those most likely to survive in food processing facilities. This research will lead to faster and more cost-effective ways to screen food for the Listeria bacteria and bolster food safety for Canadians.

"The Harper Government is committed to improving Canada's already robust food safety system, as outlined in the Safe Food for Canadians Action Plan," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "Through continued investments in science and innovation, we are creating opportunities to better identify and reduce risks for consumers, meaning safer food for Canadian families."

"We are pleased to see our investments in genomics research having tangible results," said the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology). "This project shows how Canada's leadership in genomics-based research benefits Canadians by helping protect consumers from serious foodborne illness while developing a more competitive food sector."

Through this joint research effort, a database of Listeria genome sequences will be developed and genetic markers identified. These markers will be used to rapidly spot harmful Listeria strains in foods and food processing facilities.

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Contact: Andrea Matyas
amatyas@genomecanada.ca
613-751-4460 x231
Genome Canada
Source:Eurekalert

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