Campus briefs


K-State food specialist hopes new tracking strategy will improve food safety

Fadi Aramouni, professor of food processing and food product development, said a new partnership to better track food borne illnesses and food safety should lead to better intervention strategies, according to a K-State News and Communications Services press release.

“Despite all of the efforts currently being utilized to reduce foodborne illness — the grants, the research, the extension work and the education — we still have a rather high number of people who get sick and even die from food borne illnesses, so it’s still a big issue that we have to deal with,” Aramouni said in the news release.

The government is making efforts to better track and analyze outbreaks of food borne illness to determine which foods the illnesses are stemming from.

According to the release, the research’s findings include:

• Beef and vegetable row crops, such as leafy vegetables, were attributed to more than 80 percent of E. coli O 157 illnesses.

• Seventy-seven percent of salmonella illnesses related to seeded vegetables, such as tomatoes and sprouts, as well as eggs, fruits, chicken, beef and pork. The illness was broadly attributed across food commodities.

• Dairy was attributed to approximately 75 percent of Campylobacter illnesses. In the analysis, most of the dairy outbreaks were related to raw cheese or milk produced from raw milk.

• Fruit and dairy were both attributed to more than 80 percent of listeria illnesses. As data were sparse for listeria, a single large outbreak linked to cantaloupes in 2011 reflects the estimate for fruit.

Graduate student receives Future Leaders in Science award

Trevor Rife, doctoral student in plant pathology, was selected by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America as one of 18 recipients of the 2015 Future Leaders in Science Award, according to a K-State Today news release.

Graduate students are chosen for the award based on their interest and and engagement in science advocacy. In his research, Rife has attempted to shorten plant breeding cycles by introducing genomic prediction into breeding programs, which could potentially double possible scientific progress.