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  1. CFSAN Constituent Updates

GenomeTrakr: Transforming Food Safety

Constituent Update

June 27, 2016

FDA has posted a new video about the cutting-edge work of the GenomeTrakr network. The network, consisting of laboratories with whole genome sequencing capabilities, was established to facilitate the sharing of pathogen sequence data between public health agencies, academia, and the food industry, with the goal of preventing large-scale foodborne illness outbreaks.

Whole genome sequencing lets scientists look at the DNA fingerprint of pathogens, bacteria that cause disease. The FDA is increasingly using this technology to more rapidly identify foodborne pathogens and trace them to their source with unprecedented detail and clarity.

Contributing laboratories upload a pathogen’s genetic sequence, as well as information about where the pathogen was gathered, into the publicly accessible GenomeTrakr database. The information can then be used to speed outbreak investigations and to inform foodborne illness prevention strategies in food facilities and on farms.

To see this and other videos on this technology, visit the GenomeTrakr Video Library.

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