The Food Safety Blog

Stay up-to-date with the latest information and news on pathogen detection and control for the best food safety solutions.

Blog Feature

Food Safety  |  Food Safety Fun

Food Safety Best Practices + A FREE Holiday Recipe Card

Here at Sample6, we know the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. Which is why we want to make sure everyone is practicing safe baking when preparing holiday food! Follow along in the below steps for four easy food safety baking tips.

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DETECT  |  Food Safety Testing  |  Sample6

How to Perform Quality Food Safety Testing In-shift

why is in-shift data important? Right now, food processors don’t have the ability to properly respond in shift because they don’t receive the data until the next day or later if they’re using traditional test methods. Therefore your corrective actions are lagging the incident by 24-48 hours. Why is this important? A “hot spot” may migrate in the normal course of producing food due to a variety of factors such as foot traffic, product flow, sanitation (that isn’t seeking out to clean this particular hotspot) etc.

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Food Safety Testing  |  Industry News

Sample6 announces the initiation of a multi-center Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the FDA

The CRADA is with the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Nutrition, Center for Veterinary Medicine, and Winchester Engineering Analytical Center CAMBRIDGE, July 21, 2016:  Synthetic biology and food safety innovator Sample6 today announced the initiation of a multi-center Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Nutrition (CFSAN), Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), and Winchester Engineering Analytical Center (WEAC).

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Blog Feature

Food Safety Testing  |  Industry News  |  Listeria

Sample6 Awarded First Patent for Application of Groundbreaking Phage Engineering Technology to Food Safety

Company Leads Innovation to Enable Preventative Food Safety – Stop Recalls Before They Happen CAMBRIDGE, July 14, 2016:  Synthetic Biology and Food safety innovator Sample6 today announced that it was granted a new patent enabling extremely rapid and sensitive bacterial detection for the genus Listeria through the use of the proprietary phage-based luminescence assay.

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Blog Feature

Bacteria  |  Food Safety Education  |  Industry News  |  Listeria

Protecting Yourself Against Listeria: A Refresher Course

It seems like in recent months and weeks, you just can't seem to escape the news of some type of food recall or without hearing about an outbreak of food contamination at a local restaurant. The CDC has been working with the USDA, FDA, and state/local public health officials to investigate these recent outbreaks caused by Listeria monocytogenes. So, how can you protect yourself from Listeria? Let's first start with the basics. 

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Food Safety Culture  |  Food Safety Education  |  Sample6

Overview of Food Safety Routine Testing

Routine testing in regards to microbiological food safety is monitored by the Food Safety Inspection Services (FSIS). Monitoring can be done to a variety of aspects of the food safety plant and with a variety of techniques and machinery. With that said, there are general guidelines and steps that the FSIS recommends with safety sampling. We also looked into food safety testing around the world and if it varied greatly between the US, Europe and Asia.

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Industry News

10 Cool Things About Working in the Food Industry Only an Insider Would Understand

So you're in the food industry... That must mean your job is all about factories, hairnets, and production lines. Right?  People in the food industry are used to this common assumption. But we know there's much more to food production. Below are some of the cool things about the food industry only an insider would know.   

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Blog Feature

Bacteria  |  Food Safety Education  |  Infographic

[INFOGRAPHIC] Meet More Bugs, Know More Enemies

Over the summer, we introduced you to some of the most frequent causes of foodborne illnesses. There are over 200 known species of bacteria that are related to foodborne illnesses. Here are five more that are frequent offenders and have made a few headlines.

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Food Safety Culture  |  Food Safety Education  |  Regulations Explained

What is Organic, Really...

There has been a lot of recent attention to organic food products and organic farming. As more research comes out about the dangers of synthetic pesticides and inhumane agricultural practices, more support is going towards what is "natural."

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Blog Feature

Featured Companies  |  Food Safety Education  |  Industry News

Food Safety Profile: Backyard Farms and Their Tomatoes

Here at Sample6, we like to give a shout out to companies that are doing food safety right.  Based out of Madison, Maine, Backyard Farms has food safety as their number one priority, and they won an award for it! They grow fresh tomatoes year round in a 42-acre greenhouse, complete with dynamic quality monitoring systems.

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Food Safety Education  |  Industry News  |  Regulations Explained

FSMA 2016: What's new and what's next

FSMA has been enacted into law for almost 5 years, and is kept up to date with the newest food safety innovations. In September, we talked about new preventative measures for human and animal food. 2016 has begun with creating new legislation in regards to produce production and processing, as well as the finalization of the Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) that applies to both human and animal food. FSMA continues to define and help implement safe environments for all parts of the food production process!

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Blog Feature

Bacteria  |  Food Safety Education

Cronobacter and babies

Cronobacter is a lesser known bacterium, but can be just as dangerous as the more famous ones like Salmonella and E. coli. This bacterium can survive in dry environments, such as powdered baby formula, powdered milk, herbal teas and starches. It can also survive outside of a host organism and so, can be found on kitchen counters and food production factory surfaces. Learn more about how to keep your food safe in every process of preparation!

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Campylobacter-who?

Campylobacter is a spiral-shaped bacteria that can sicken humans and other animals. It is one of the most common causes of foodborne illness, moreso than Salmonella. With that said, it is not usually associated with outbreaks. The FDA estimates that the bacteria affects roughly 1.3 million persons every year. Read more to find out why we should give them more attention!

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Blog Feature

Synthetic Biology

Meet the Inventor: Synthetic Biology Patent

This week, we announced our first synthetic biology patent. This work, Recombinant phage and methods, contributes to our unique process of phage engineering which is the building block for DETECT/L, our in-shift Listeria assay.  I sat down with Dan Brownell, one of the inventors, to get the scoop:

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Blog Feature

Bacteria

Environmental Testing: Sponge That!

All environmental monitoring begins with a collection tool and there are a wide range of options. There are different mechanisms, sponge materials, bags and more. Let's do a quick run down:

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Sample6

Happy Holidays from Sample6

Thank you for an amazing 2015. We look forward to making food safer with you in 2016. A happy holidays and a happy new year from all of us at Sample6 to you and yours!

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Blog Feature

Food Safety Education

6 Reasons Why Outsourcing Food Safety Testing is a Bad Idea

Are you outsourcing your food safety testing? If you answered yes, you're not alone. In fact, in a recent Food Manufacturing survey, 48% of respondents reported that they outsource at least some of their testing to contract laboratories.

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Food Safety Fun

8 Food Safety Quotes You Should Memorize

Check out our collection of food safety quotes from Sample6 and others in the industry: 

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Industry News

3rd Annual Making Food Safer Breakfast

Last weekend, the best and the brightest in food safety gathered in Portland, Oregon for the International Association for Food Protection Annual Meeting. IAFP brings together food safety and production specialists from all over the world to talk about the latest technological advances and topics of concern in the food safety industry. In addition to the business and technical sessions, we host an annual breakfast panel to explore the tough topics.  It is always a fun and interesting event and this year was no exception. This year's panelist brought perspectives from regulatory, academia, retail and wholesale. David Acheson of The Acheson Group, Craig Wilson from Costco, Indaue Mello from Coca-Cola, and Professor Martin Wiedmann from Cornell shared their expertise and ideas along with an enthusiastic audience. Here's a quick recap:

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Customer Success Stories

Customer Success Stories: Norpaco Gourmet Foods

Norpaco Gourmet Foods is a leading manufacturer of Italian style specialty food products. From their Connecticut facility, they deliver the taste of the Tuscan countryside with their specialty food products such as stuffed cherry peppers, stuffed olives, panini style meat and cheese rolls and more. Norpaco delivers great value and consistent quality by using the finest raw materials, including peppers sourced from Peru, authentic recipes and utmost attention to quality and safety. 

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Company Features  |  Food Safety Education

Proficiency Testing: Testing the Test

Standardized testing is frequently a topic of debate among educators, government officials and parents. Most communities have found that despite pitfalls and disadvantages, there are valuable reasons to benchmark students and schools.  The same is true for food safety tests, typically called proficiency testing. Proficiency testing determines the performance of individual laboratories for specific tests or measurements.  This testing can be used to monitor laboratories' continuing performance. Here are some factors to consider in your proficiency testing:

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Company Features  |  Customer Success Stories

Sample6 Success Stories: Clover Stornetta

Clover Stornetta, a milk supplier based in northern California, recently adopted Sample6 DETECT in its Petaluma bottling plant. Originating in the early 1900s, Clover has always strived to produce high quality products based on the simple equation, happy cows = delicious, nutritious milk. With this in mind, Clover Stornetta works closely with farmers and producers at every step of the process to ensure the production of the cleanest and best tasting milk.

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Company Features

Sample6 DETECT/L & USDA: Enrichment-Free in an Enrichment World

DETECT/L received the Performance Tested Method  (PTM) certification by the AOAC Research Institute (AOAC-RI) in April of 2014.  That’s the first time an enrichment– free, in-shift pathogen test received this certification.

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Blog Feature

Happy Holidays from Sample6

At Sample6, our mission is to make food safer.  We can only do this by partnering with the leaders and innovaters in the food safety industry.  2014 was a great year with the introduction of our first products, DETECT & CONTROL. Innovative companies like Dietz & Watson, RLS Logistics and New England Charcuterie have joined our mission, as some of our first customers. Check back here soon for more customer success stories. We also worked together with experts to continue the industry conversation on food safety. This year included our first webinar, featuring John Butts and our 2nd Annual Making Food Safer Breakfast Panel. Thanks for a great year! From our team to you and yours, we wish you a happy holiday season!  Together, we can make food safer.

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Company Features  |  Customer Success Stories

Sample6 Success Stories: Optimizing Logistics for Safer Food

At Sample6, we are on a mission to make food safer. We are partnering with companies large and small, from all across the country, in all different product types. Innovative companies come in all shapes and sizes. This month’s customer success story is RLS Logistics.  RLS Logistics is a premier third party logistics company based in New Jersey.  Their focus is temperature-controlled logistics.   Originally founded as a family mushroom farm in 1968, the business has transformed under three generations of the Leo Family.  Over the years, the services have expanded to include trucking, warehousing, customized packaging, and national distribution.  As the needs of their customers evolved, RLS added and expanded their business.

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Blog Feature

How to Think Like a Bug in Food

As they say on one of my favorite shows, Criminal Minds, "To catch a criminal, you have to think like one." The same applies to bacteria. In our earlier blog post, 'How to think like a bug', we shared some insight to help design your environmental sampling practices.  With our focus on finished product,  we will explore how bacteria interact with food matrices.

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Blog Feature

Listeria Detection

Sample6 DETECT for Food: Cheese

With Sample6 DETECT/L,  our in-shift in-plant environmental test on the market, we have started development on finished products. Our vision is in-shift testing for all products, all pathogens. 

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Blog Feature

Bacteria  |  Company Features  |  Food Safety Education  |  Listeria Detection

Sample6 DETECT: Can you make it faster?

At Sample6, our mission is to provide food producers with a fast and reliable assay for pathogen detection. The Sample6 DETECT/L assay requires only a six-hour incubation, making it the first AOAC-certified, enrichment-free assay that can be performed start to finish in a single shift.  However, this is just the first step. Under ideal conditions, with healthy cells, we are able to detect a single cell in one hour, but real world conditions present real challenges.  Let’s walk through those challenges and talk a bit about what we are doing to address them: 

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Blog Feature

Bacteria  |  Food Safety Fun

Debunking the Top Food Safety Myths

At Sample6,  we are commited to delivering the technology needed to make food safer at the plant level.  Along the way,  we've learned a lot about food safety in general.  There are many misconceptions in consumer use.  Some of the most common myths will surprise you.  

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Bacteria  |  Company Features  |  Company Promo's  |  Industry News  |  Listeria Detection  |  Regulations Explained

Sample6 DETECT/L: What Does AOAC Certification mean?

Last month, the Sample6 DETECT/L listeria environmental assay was certified by the AOAC.  DETECT/L is the first in-shift non-enrichment test that the AOAC has ever certified. To our customers, this is a critical milestone, required for the adoption of a new diagnostic.  Our advisor, David Acheson of The Acheson Group, describes it as “the gold standard in validation for food safety diagnostics and indicates a high standard of product that users can have confidence in.”

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Company Features  |  Food Safety Education

Sample6 Applications: In Our Hands Before Yours

At Sample6, we are committed to creating an easy to use diagnostic that fits in-plant and in-shift. The key to developing a test that does not require a lab environment or a microbiologist is to test it under those conditions.  This is the mission of our Applications group.  We serve as the “first customer” for Sample6 DETECT/L. Here’s how we ensure that the product is easy to use before Customer Success brings it to you.

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Blog Feature

Company Features  |  Food Safety Education

In-plant is Only Half the Story: Sample6 for Labs

At a recent trade show, an executive from leading lab walked over to our booth and asked to learn more about our products.  He facetiously joked that he wanted to know more about the test that was trying to take away his business.

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Blog Feature

Bacteria  |  Company Features  |  Food Safety Education  |  Listeria Detection

Sample6 DETECT: How Does it Work

Over the past 2 years, I have frequently joined presentations, demonstrations and field visits on our first product, Sample6 DETECT/L.  The audiences have ranged from microbiologists to plant workers, to plant managers to corporate vice presidents to investors. The conversation always follows a similar pattern. Everybody gets the “why” immediately: a Listeria assay that produces results in  less than a single shift is better than diagnostics that takes 24 hours or more. Plant and production teams focus on the logistics opportunity to deliver safe products faster. Quality teams consider the opportunities to test closer to the product. Sanitation teams are excited by the ability to receive clear actionable information and microbiologists are excited to use this type of diagnostic to investigate presumed positives prior to sanitation.  We hear unanimously that the opportunity to test and retest when conditions may still be representative will revolutionize testing, investigations and resolutions. But, no matter who I’m talking with, the next question is always the same, “How can you deliver results so quickly, how does it work?”  

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Company Features

Our CEO, Tim Curran: It Takes an Industry to Make Food Safer

Two years of clever and diligent R&D work by the Sample6 team has paid off with our first significant industry milestone, AOAC certification.  When we set out to revolutionize pathogen detection for food safety, we knew it would require a lot of hard work but we quickly realized that revolutionizing food safety would require buy in and support from the entire food safety industry. Going through the AOAC certification process brought this to light, as it required collaboration and partnership with the AOAC organization, third party labs, and our pilot partners.

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Company Features  |  Food Safety Education  |  Listeria Detection

Sample6 Manufacturing: Delivering Quality Detection and Control

At Sample 6 we’re designing and manufacturing the first enrichment free environmental pathogen diagnostic. This test is designed to be used in-plant to deliver accurate, actionable results to the user in a single shift.  Over the last couple years the product development team has been working diligently to optimize the performance of DETECT/L and validate its performance with a number of food-processing facilities across the country.

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Company Features  |  Food Safety Education

The Enrichment-Free Confirmation Conundrum

For environmental samples, there are a range of detection methods that can be used with varying degrees of accuracy and time trade offs.  Most food processors select a rapid screening test such as an immunoassay or PCR test, which provide them results in 3 days.  In the event that a positive is found with one of these methods, many food processors will chose to confirm using culture.  The full USDA culture protocol requires 5 days, and includes 2 types of selective enrichment and then 2 days on agar plates.   

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Company Features  |  Food Safety Education

A Word from the Sample6 CEO: Driving the Food Safety Revolution

It’s been one year since I joined Sample6’s crusade to revolutionize pathogen testing and food safety.  In that time I’ve had the privilege of touring over a dozen food plants from Boston to Salinas Valley.  I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to “quality test” cooked bacon – delicious!   I’ve seen freshly severed fish heads, lettuce - washed, chopped, spun, blown and bagged, and six-foot vats of melted cheese that would make a glorious Super Bowl party.  It has truly been like Charlie’s tour of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory: amazing, impressive and occasionally terrifying. It is amazing how different locations, product types and companies have one thing very much in common.   In every single case, there is an impressive and sincere commitment to shipping safe food.  The food safety folks I have met are doing everything they can; using every available resource; to ensure that the food their plants are producing is safe.  But, they all are in agreement that the tools available today are not ideal for achieving this goal.

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Bacteria  |  Company Features  |  Regulations Explained

Tips for Working with Your Lab on Environmental Samples

In order to develop a revolutionary diagnostic, we have processed thousands of real world samples using Detect/L.  To measure our performance during development, we have confirmed each of these samples using traditional methods.  Depending on our workload, sometimes we run confirmation in house and sometimes we ship them off to a third party lab.   In the process, we’ve established great partnerships with labs around the country.  We’ve also learned a lot about working with your outside lab.

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Company Promo's  |  Industry News

Sample6 Recent News: New Website, Product Launch, and IAFP

Sample6 is proud to announce the recent launch of our new website.  The new and improved version includes videos, industry and company-specific articles, a blog, and, of course, information on our products.  The new website is not the only advancement happening at Sample6 lately. The company has experienced tremendous and rapid growth over recent years and months as we prepare for our first product launch.

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