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New test can precisely pinpoint food pathogens

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With Salmonella-tainted ground turkey sickening more than 100 people and Listeria-contaminated cantaloupes killing 15 this year, the ability to detect outbreaks of food-borne illness and determine their sources has become a top public health priority.

A new approach, reported online Oct. 14 in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology by a collaborative team led by Cornell scientists, will enable government agencies and food companies to pinpoint the exact nature and origin of food-borne bacteria with unprecedented accuracy, says food science professor Martin Wiedmann.

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