Expert Alert: What’s Behind the Recent Spate of Food Recalls?

This fall has seen a flurry of food recalls across Canada, with hundreds of beef and veal products recalled over E. coli concerns, several cooked chicken products recalled due to Listeria fears, and sausages recalled over Salmonella worries.

What is behind all the recalls? Are they a reflection of a lax food safety system, or perhaps a hyper-vigilant inspection system?

a photo of Prof. Keith Warriner

Prof. Keith Warriner

The University of Guelph has food science experts who can discuss the reasons behind the increased recalls,  as well as the potential risks of the pathogens involved.

Prof. Keith Warriner is a food microbiologist in the Department of Food Science and researches food-borne pathogens, food-borne hazards detection technologies and intervention technologies.

His research has contributed to methods and practices that are currently used in the food industry, including the implementation of new cooking instructions for poultry products in Ontario, the creation of decontamination methods for dry ingredients such as flour and chia seeds, and microbiological safety practices for fresh produce.

Prof. Lawrence Goodridge

Prof. Lawrence Goodridge holds the Leung Family Professorship in Food Safety in the Department of Food Science and pursues interdisciplinary research on food-borne pathogens, antibiotic resistance and food fraud.

He studies ways to integrate genomics to detect food- and water-borne bacterial pathogens such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria. He also recently took part in a Genome Canada-funded project to detect salmonella in fresh produce.

Prof. Keith Warriner

Prof. Lawrence Goodridge