March 22, 2012

Food Safety and Biomedical Research

Ecoli in a petri dish

More than a quarter million Americans get sick from E. coli each year. E. coli or Escherichia coli, are a large group of bacteria. Most strains are harmless, but others can make you quite sick. How does E. coli contaminate our food? How is it transmitted in the food chain? How safe is our nation's food system?

Helping to answer these questions is Carolyn Bohach, a microbiologist from the University of Idaho who specializes in studying E. coli and food safety. Joan Cartan-Hansen talks with Dr. Bohach about her research and ways we can prevent E. coli breakouts. Bohach is also the director of the Idaho IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, which includes 12 research and education institutions statewide. INBRE builds the state's biomedical research capacity and supports educators in elementary schools though graduate school.