Tennessee Tech University professor Sharon Berk will give the audience a close look at the interactions of microbes associated with fresh produce during this year's Sigma Xi Lecture luncheon seminar at noon, Thursday, Feb. 15, in TTU's Roaden University Center, Room 371.
Outbreaks of food-borne illnesses caused by E. coli and Salmonella enterica have recently received national attention. In less than four months in fall 2006, two outbreaks sickened nearly 400 people in at least 33 states, killing at least three people.
"One of the most crucial questions that emerge from these outbreaks is how the human pathogens survived the harsh environmental conditions on produce in the field and the sanitizer treatments during processing," said Berk.
The Centers for Disease Control recently compiled data that revealed that fresh produce was the most important vehicle of food-borne illness in 2005.