Ottawa – Three groups have come together to support a project that will help protect consumers from Listeriosis.
Genome Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions announced their partnership in late June.
Together, the groups are supporting a $1.4-million project that will sequence and map the genomes of many Listeria strains to identify those strains that are likely to be most harmful to human health as well as those most likely to survive in food processing plants.
Linda Chui, of the University of Alberta, is leading the project.
The research the project yields will lead to faster and most cost-effective ways to screen food for the Listeria bacteria and bolster food safety for Canadians.
Through this joint research effort, a database of Listeria genome sequences will be developed and genetic markers identified. These markers will be used to rapidly spot harmful Listeria strains in foods and food processing facilities.
The CFIA says Chui’s 18-month research project is being supported through an investment of $250,000 each from Genome Canada (via Genome Alberta) and the CFIA, and $100,000 from Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions.
This investment is also being leveraged through co-funding from federal, provincial, academic and industry partners, including Maple Leaf Foods, increasing the total investment to $1.4 million.
Genome Canada is a not-for-profit organization that invests in genomics research to generate economic and social benefits for Canadians.
Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions is a publicly funded, board-governed corporation that works with partners to identify, coordinate and fund research projects designed to help solve industry challenges with solutions that deliver economic, environmental and social benefits.