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Genome sequencing’s role in reducing foodborne illnesses is topic at Commissioner’s Food Safety Forum Aug. 16

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Food-Safety-ForumRALEIGH – The role of whole genome sequencing in reducing outbreaks of foodborne illnesses will be among topics covered at the 12th annual Commissioner’s Food Safety Forum on Aug. 16 at the State Fairgrounds.

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler will host the event from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Expo Center. It is open to farmers, food businesses, regulators, health professionals and other interested people. Admission is free and includes lunch, but pre-registration is requested.

Whole genome sequencing is a process conducted in laboratories to determine the complete DNA sequence of an organism’s genetic material.

“Our keynote speaker is Eric Stevens with the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition,” Troxler said. “His presentation will focus on how the agency uses whole genome sequencing in its investigations of foodborne illnesses.”

Other topics on the agenda include the sanitary transportation of food and preparations by farms for implementation of new federal food safety rules.

“It’s important for farmers to know what to expect when it comes to complying with the new federal produce safety rule,” Troxler said. “Our panelists will discuss the benefits of conducting an on-farm readiness review.”

To register, go to www.ncagr.gov/ncfoodsafetyforum by Aug. 12. Individuals with questions should contact Christina Waggett at christina.waggett@ncagr.gov or 919-707-3008.

The forum is organized by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and sponsored by Harris Teeter and Temperature Control Solutions.