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FDA Releases Updated “Bad Bug Book” with New Features

Food Basket

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition - Food and Drug Administration


April 4, 2012

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made available on the internet the second edition of the Bad Bug Book, a handbook of basic information about foodborne bacteria, viruses, parasites, prions, and naturally occurring toxins.  In addition to updated scientific information, the book includes five new chapters (on Cronobacter, Enterococcus, Francisella tularensis, phytohaemagglutinin, and venomous fish). 

Although the book is intended primarily for scientific and technical readers, each chapter now also includes a separate section for consumers.  The consumer sections are written in everyday language and focus on food safety, including tips on how to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

Most chapters have been expanded, and the scientific information in each has been reformatted.  The new format enables readers to extract more easily from the chapter the specific information they seek.  Examples include a separate section on the pathogen’s or toxin’s characteristics and habitats, and factors that affect its survival or stability; and separate sections on detection methods, food sources and analysis, and disease characteristics.  Links to related information from other Federal agencies are included.

The second edition of the Bad Bug Book is available on the FDA web site.  Please check the FDA web site periodically, as more chapters will be added.