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This content is taken from the Queen's University Belfast's online course, Tackling Global Food Safety. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 0 seconds Hello, everyone. Millions of people fall ill every year, some die as a consequence of eating unsafe food. Serious outbreaks of foodborne disease have been documented on every continent. Most cases are attributed to contaminated food or water. And the harmful food contaminants may be microbiological, chemical, or allergenic in nature. This week, we will consider what food safety means and investigate what the statistics tell us are the current major food contaminants of concern. The early detection of harmful food contaminants, including pathogenic microorganisms, and various chemicals and toxins, in farm animals, foods of various kinds, animal feed, and water sources, is an important research focus of the food safety group here at Queen’s University.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 seconds We are seeking to develop novel detection methods for a range of food contaminants involving a variety of biological and physical chemical detection platforms. We will consider the required characteristics of such detection methods - specificity, sensitivity, accuracy, repeatability, reproducibility, and robustness. And you will have a chance to investigate what each of these terms mean. In the final part, I propose to showcase two methods developed within the Institute for Global Food Security. Both are antibody-based methods. The first is a rapid lateral flow method for detection of the shellfish toxin, okadaic acid, which is now commercially available. The second is Immunomagnetic Separation, or IMS, which is a simple but effective way to selectively capture a concentrated target pathogen to aid its subsequent detection.

Welcome from Professor Irene Grant

Throughout this week we will review the various types of food contamination, assess the hazards causing most problems currently, and consider some methods used to detect food hazards and how these are validated before adoption.

The following video is an introduction to the topic from Professor Irene Grant.

A big congratulations to Irene who has just recently been promoted to Professor at IGFS, Queen’s University.

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This video is from the free online course:

Tackling Global Food Safety

Queen's University Belfast