March 6, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Diane Wetherington
EnABLe Model Better Tracks Listeria in Food Production Facilities, Improves Monitoring Effectiveness
Based upon newly published peer-reviewed research co-authored by their Food Safety Scientist, Dr. Claire Zoellner, iFoodDecisionSciences (iFoodDS) is offering a new software service to help food facilities reduce the risk of Listeria monocytogenes contamination of food products through improved environmental monitoring and detection.
As cited in the paper from Cornell University and published in the journal Scientific Reports, “detection of pathogens in food processing facilities by routine environmental monitoring is essential to reduce the risk of foodborne illness but is complicated by the complexity of equipment and environment surfaces.” Therefore Dr. Zoellner and her fellow scientists built a model called EnABLe (Environmental monitoring with an Agent based model of Listeria), which is a detailed and customizable simulation tool for use in food processing facilities.
The study determined that when EnABLe was tested in a food production facility, “grouping of surfaces by their Listeria spp. contamination dynamics identified connectivity and sanitary design as predictors of contamination, indicating that these features should be considered in the design of environmental monitoring programs to detect Listeria.”
“In other words, the EnABLe model maps how Listeria could move through a facility allowing for more targeted environmental monitoring and improved risk management,” says Diane Wetherington, president of iFoodDS. “Combined with iFoodDecisionSciences’ software tools and mapping, companies will have real-time visibility into their monitoring effectiveness,” she says.
“Together with iFoodDS’s software and analytics solutions, EnABLe is a wonderful example of turning industry-leading science and research into a tool that will help the food industry address pressing food safety challenges,” says Dr. Martin Wiedmann, Gellert Family Professor in Food Safety at Cornell University and a co-author of the paper.
The iFoodDS team, led by Dr. Zoellner, has already begun using EnABLe for clients in food production facilities. “In real-life application, we expect that because the EnABLe model and user software is customized to each individual facility, not only is environmental monitoring improved but employee food safety training is enhanced as well,” Dr. Zoellner says.
“We are excited that this system is applicable for a wide range of production facilities including fresh produce, frozen foods, seafood, poultry, meat, dairy and spices,” Wetherington adds.
Dr. Zoellner joined iFoodDS in September after completing a Postdoctoral Research appointment in Cornell’s Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Claire earned her PhD at Cornell and continues to focus her research endeavors to develop tools for the food industry to leverage data in making food safety decisions.
iFoodDecisionSciences is a leading provider of food safety and process control data management software solutions for growers, shippers, packers, processors and distributors. iFoodDecisionSciences’ client-centered SaaS offerings provide easily accessible database and underlying analytics for regulatory compliance and process improvements. iFoodDecisionSciences is privately held.
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