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December 23, 2016

 

If you require emergency testing over the holidays, please contact Lynne Fruhner at 519-841-0991.

Happy Holidays!

 

 

December 9, 2016 - AFL Holiday Hours of Operation

 



May 5, 2016

 

Over the past year, Canada and the U.S. finalized assessments of each others food safety systems.  This announcement was posted on the U.S. FDA website yesterday:

 

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in conjunction with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Department of Health Canada have all signed an arrangement acknowledging that each of the agencies' food safety systems are comparable to one another.  The arrangement was signed at a meeting of the FDA-CFIA Health Canada Joint Committee on Food Safety."

 

Link: http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/news/fda-recognizes-canada-as-having-a-comparable-food-safety-system-to-the-us/ 

 

March 11, 2016

 

On behalf of the Agriculture and Food Laboratory (AFL), we’d like to congratulate Dr. Richard Meldrum from Ryerson University, School of Occupational and Public Health on being the lucky winner of the $100 gift card for participating in our client feedback survey.  We would also like to thank all of those who participated in the survey. Your feedback is a critical component of our commitment towards continuous improvement across the organization.  With your help, the AFL will continue proudly serving the analytical and diagnostic needs of the agricultural, food, environmental and animal health industries with excellence and expertise. 

 

March 4, 2016

 

Please join us at the 12th Annual North American Food Safety Summit on April 20-21, 2016. Input the code "AFL20" when registering to receive a 20% discount. Register today at http://www.foodsafetycanada.com.


  

 October 22, 2015

  

Please join us at the Food Regulatory & QA Summit on Nov. 17 – Nov. 18, 2015. Input the code “AFL20” when registering to receive a 20% discount. 

 

 

February 13, 2015

 

The Detection of Residual Bovine DNA in Feeds

The Agriculture & Food Laboratory offers analytical tests for the presence of various animal species (e.g. beef, pork, ruminant) in food or feed samples.  PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) methods are used to detect animal species-specific DNA while ELISA (Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay) methods are applied in the detection of species-specific proteins in food and feed samples. The Agriculture & Food Laboratory is accredited by SCC to ISO/IEC 17025 for the “Detection of Residual Bovine, Ruminant, Porcine, Animal and Rice DNA in Feed and Food Samples” as listed on our scope of Accreditation.

 

Our current PCR methods cover:

·         Bovine,

·         Ruminant,

·         Porcine,

·         Chicken and Turkey,

·         Animal in plant-based foods

 

Please follow the link to the CFIA website about the recent confirmed case of BSE in Alberta, first since 2011: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/animals/terrestrial-animals/diseases/reportable/bse/cfia-confirms-bse-in-alberta/eng/1423797248015/1423797327027.

 

Please contact Client Services at 519-767-6299 or aflinfo@uoguelph.ca for more information. 

 

 

February 6, 2015

 

Supplies for Purchase

 

The Agriculture & Food Laboratory has certain testing supplies for sale.  These include:

  • Environmental Sponges
  • Q-Tip Swabs
  • PDA plates

Please contact  aflinfo@uoguelph.ca or 519-767-6299 for more details.  

 

 

January 30, 2015

 

Food Fraud - Putting DNA and Proteins to the Test

 

Food fraud is a collective term used to encompass the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering, or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients, or food packaging; or false or misleading statements made about a product for economic gain (Spink and Moyer, 2011a). The types of fraud include adulteration, tampering, overrun, theft, diversion, simulation, and counterfeiting (Spink and Moyer, 2011b).

 

Food Fraud is not a new phenomenon,  but is gaining attention in recent years due to the number of cases and the costs associated with the fraud.  Recent food fraud cases include horse meat scandals and cases related to the intentional mislabelling of fish in stores.  Some of the common foods involved in adulteration include olive oil, milk, honey, saffron, coffee, tea, fish and meat.

 

The adulteration of meat products with undeclared animal species can result in recalls of the products and reduce consumer confidence on well established product brands.  Laboratory testing is used to determine the species composition of processed meat products to assess their authenticity.

 

The Agriculture & Food Laboratory offers analytical tests for the presence of various animal species (e.g. beef, pork, ruminant) in food or feed samples.  PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) methods are used to detect animal species-specific DNA while ELISA (Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay) methods are applied in the detection of species-specific proteins in food and feed samples. The Agriculture & Food Laboratory is accredited by SCC to ISO/IEC 17025 for the “Detection of Residual Bovine, Ruminant, Porcine, Animal and Rice DNA in Feed and Food Samples” as listed on our scope of Accreditation.

 

In order to meet your operational needs, we offer same day results for rush services or 2-3 business days for standard services.  Use these results to gauge control measures used to prevent undeclared materials in food operations, to support export activities and other uses. 

Our current PCR methods cover:

  • Bovine,
  • Ruminant,
  • Porcine,
  • Chicken and Turkey,
  • Animal in plant-based foods

Our current ELISA methods cover:

  • Beef,
  • Pork, 
  • Poultry,
  • Sheep,
  • Horse,
  • Deer* 
  • Turkey*

*cooked meat only.

Our laboratory also offers analytical testing for the identification of unknown animal or plant species.   Identification is done using DNA sequencing.

Please contact Client Services at 519-767-6299 or aflinfo@uoguelph.ca for more information.

 



Spink, J. and Moyer, D.C. 2011a. Defining the Public Health Threat of FoodFraud. J of Food Sci 76(9): R157-162.

Spink, J. and Moyer, D.C. 2011b. Backgrounder: Defining the Public Health Threat of Food Fraud, in Research Grants. National Center for FoodProtection and Defense (NCFPD). http://www.ncfpd.umn.edu. Minneapolis,MN. p. 7.


 

January 14, 2015

 

Verticillium longisporum, a fungal pathogen considered a major disease of oilseed rape in Europe, has been discovered in canola in Manitoba. This soil borne fungus infects through the roots of canola plants and then grows into the xylem throughout vegetative parts of the plant. The xylem, which transports water, becomes clogged resulting in wilting and often death of the plant. The fungus produces microsclerotia that survive in plant debris in soil for many years. 


Detection of Verticillium longisporum in plant tissues and soil is offered by The Pest Diagnostic Clinic, Agriculture and Food Laboratory, University of Guelph. Testing is done using Multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Please contact us at 519-767-6299 or aflinfo@uoguelph.ca for more details. 

 

 

January 5, 2015

 

Pork DNA Residue Testing Services

 

Growing concerns about food authenticity and the increasing demands in the Halal markets are requiring that certifying agencies and food producers ensure the integrity of their brands. Detection of porcine materials in these foods is a key factor in verification of Halal.

 

Porcine DNA residue testing services at the University of Guelph’s Agriculture and Food Laboratory are available for verification that Halal food products are produced without pork. The Porcine DNA residue test is ISO 17025 accredited to ensure food manufacturers that the test results are generated through a testing process recognized by international quality standards.

 

Please contact Client Services for further information at: 519-767-6299 or aflinfo@uoguelph.ca.

 

 

 

Staphylococcal enterotoxins

 

The University of Guelph, Agriculture & Food Laboratory (AFL) tests both finished food products and raw ingredients for the presence of staphylococcal enterotoxins A, B, C, D, and E.

 

Turnaround times for test results are typically within 5-10 business days. However, clients requiring rush analysis should contact our client services at aflinfo@uoguelph.ca or 519-767-6299 to discuss the necessary testing details, terms and pricing.

 

Foods that are frequently involved in staphylococcal food intoxication include:

 

·         meat and meat products,

·         poultry and egg products,

·         salads such as egg, tuna, chicken, potato, and macaroni

·         bakery products such as cream-filled pastries, cream pies, and éclairs

·         milk and dairy products

 

Staphylococcus aureus produces heat stable proteins that behave as enterotoxins. Staphylococcal food intoxication is the name of the condition caused by consuming these enterotoxins

 

Common symptoms of staphylococcal food intoxication are nausea, retching, abdominal cramping, and vomiting. Some individuals may not always demonstrate all the symptoms associated with the illness. In more severe cases, headache, muscle cramping, and transient changes in blood pressure and pulse rate may occur. Recovery generally takes two days. The onset of symptoms in staphylococcal food intoxication can be as rapid as 30 minutes and often occurs within 2-4 hours. Victims of staphylococcal food intoxication are usually quick to identify the contaminated food due to the rapid onset of their symptoms.


We offer the following methods:

 

MFLP-65: Detection of Staphylococcal Enterotoxins in Food Products Using the VIDAS® Staph Enterotoxin II (SET2), an ELFA (Enzyme Linked Fluorescent Assay) Technique

 

MFLP-69: Detection of Enterotoxins Produced by Staphylococcus aureus (Ridascreen SET A, B, C, D, E Enzyme Immunoassay)

 

Food processors may want to consider proactively implementing staphylococcal enterotoxin testing as a regular component in their quality control program. These companies should contact the Agriculture and Food Laboratory at aflinfo@uoguelph.ca or 519-767-6299.

 




July 1, 2014


Gluten Free Certification Program


Part of the requirements of the Gluten Free Certification Program is that organizations have a documented sampling and testing plan. Additionally, the plan must be validated by an accredited (ISO 17025) third-party Laboratory to ensure accurate results. Please contact us at 519-767-6299 or aflinfo@uoguelph.ca to discuss how the Agriculture & Food Laboratory can assist you with your organization’s testing to comply with the requirements of the Gluten Free Certification Program. To Learn more about the Gluten Free Certification Program, please follow the link: http://www.glutenfreecert.com/about-us/gluten-free-certification-program/.

AFL sample submission form 

 

 

March 26, 2014

 

Please follow the link to see one of our Scientists, Andrew Moore featured in the article "Bladder Stones Reflect Pet Health".  http://atguelph.uoguelph.ca/2014/03/bladder-stones-reflect-pet-health/

 

 

February 11, 2014

 

Please follow the link to The Star website that features one of our Scientists, Andrew Moore, who assisted with the research project:  http://www.thestar.com/life/2014/02/10/toronto_bees_are_using_plastic_to_build_nests_study.html

 

January 10, 2014

Neonicotinoids 

 

Currently, neonicotinoids, a relatively new class of insecticide, are in wide use globally. These more water soluble compounds are taken up by plants to provide protection from insects.

In 2011-12 the AFL established a method for testing this class of insecticide in a number of bee related products (i.e. honey, pollen, beeswax), as well as bees themselves, to help determine the extent of exposure which may be occurring. We also test a range of environmental samples where bees and other insects may be additionally exposed to these compounds such as water, soil and vegetation. In addition, we can screen for these pesticides in fruits, vegetables, animal tissues and treated seeds Please call for further information.

 

November 28, 2013

 

Please follow the link to read the most recent story posted on "At Guelph" regarding the Agriculture & Food Laboratory and our laboratory testing: http://atguelph.uoguelph.ca/2013/11/lab-puts-food-borne-bacteria-under-the-microscope/

 

 

 

September 26, 2013

The Agriculture & Food Laboratory will have booths at the following upcoming tradeshows in the Fall of 2013. Please come by and say hi. We would be happy to answer any questions regarding your testing needs.

 

 

Canadian Greenhouse ConferenceOctober 9 & 10 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre. Niagara Falls, Ontario. http://www.canadiangreenhouseconference.com/. Our own Shannon Shan and Melody Melzer will be presenting a workshop on Wednesday, October 9. The workshop will focus on the methods used for the diagnosis of fungal diseases, bacterial diseases and viral diseases on greenhouse crops.

 

 

The Guelph Food Safety Seminar Series Presents: 2013 Symposium: "Food Safety-Compliance to Commitment”.  October 23th at the Holiday Inn Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre.

 

 

Food Regulatory and Quality Assurance Summit. October 22 & 23. International Plaza Hotel, Toronto, Ontario.   http://www.foodregulationcanada.com/

 

 

May 30, 2013 

Have you ever wondered "What's for Lunch?" Guelph's Agriculture and Food Laboratory can answer this question and more, keeping the food supply safe.  Please follow this link to read the entire article written by Lab Business: http://www.labbusinessmag.com/articles/2013mawhatlunch/forlunch.html

 

 

May 27, 2013

Please follow the link: http://atguelph.uoguelph.ca/2013/05/plant-doctors-on-call-for-35-years/ to see our very own Pest Diagnostic Clinic.  We are celebrating 35 years on campus!

 

May 15, 2013

AFL Develops Listeria Testing Tool.

 

Please follow the link: http://atguelph.uoguelph.ca/2013/05/afl-develops-listeria-tracking-tool-2/ to see how our own Dr. Shu Chen is working on a bacteria database that will help identify sources of food contamination.

 

 

April 11, 2013

DNA fingerprinting and beyond 

Traditionally, identification of microorganisms is based on physical characteristics such as growth appearance, microscopic appearance, and biochemical reactions. DNA sequencing, based on genetic codes contained in microorganisms, has now become the method of choice for microbial species identification.  The Agriculture and Food Laboratory (AFL) also utilizes the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies to analyze microbial communities in very complex samples. Hundreds of different genus and species of microorganisms, or a "microbial profile", which would otherwise be very difficult to analyze, can now be identified simultaneously from a single sample in a single experiment. The AFL also plans to develop new methods using these NGS technologies for food safety diagnostics in near future. 

 

 

January 11, 2013

 

 

The University of Guelph-Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) partnership is highlighted in this year's “Agri-Food Yearbook”. Please follow this link to read an article featuring our own, Dr. Shu Chen, and the Listeria database she is developing.  The title of the article is “Fast and Accurate Listeria Indexing and Tracking”.  http://www.uoguelph.ca/news/2013/01/post_228.html. 

 

 

September 20, 2012

Soybean Vein Necrosis Virus

Scientists in the Pest Diagnostic Clinic have confirmed presence of Soybean Vein Necrosis Virus in Ontario. The affected samples were collected in Elgin and Kent counties by Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) staff.

 

While symptoms may present as yellowing of veins and leaf tissue, the lab uses reverse transcriptase PCR to amplify and identify the virus. Please follow the link for the article: http://www.farms.com/news/first-confirmation-of-soybean-vein-necrosis-virus-in-ontario-55286.aspx

 

Please contact Client Services for information on collecting and submitting samples for testing: 519-767-6299 or aflinfo@uoguelph.ca.

 

 

August 28, 2012

 

Upcoming Tradeshows

 

The Agriculture & Food Laboratory will have booths at the following upcoming tradeshows in the Fall of 2012. We would be happy to answer any questions regarding your testing requirements. 

 

Canadian Greenhouse Conference. October 3 &4 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre. Niagara Falls, Ontario. http://www.canadiangreenhouseconference.com/

 

The Guelph Food Safety Seminar Series Presents: 2012 Symposium: "Food Safety-Risky Business?".  October 16th at the Holiday Inn Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre.

 

Food Regulatory and Quality Assurance Summit. October 23 & 24. Holiday Inn Airport, Toronto, Ontario.   http://www.foodregulationcanada.com/

 

 

July 16, 2012

 

Extraneous Material and Filth Testing in Food

 

AFL microscopists, diagnosticians, and analysts use Health Canada and/or AOAC Official Methods to test for extraneous material as well as light and heavy filth in food.

Major contaminants involved in food product recalls include Metal and Glass. Further testing on metal and glass can be performed to assist in identifying the source of contamination if necessary.

Another major contaminant in food involves insects or insect fragments, as well as their eggs, larvae, and excreta. The University of Guelph has one of the largest insect collections in Canada. Our entomologists can identify the insect and provide background information on typical sources and treatments if requested.

Additional extraneous material and filth contaminants include hair, fibres, and plastic. Our vast experience with foreign material identification has equipped us in determining virtually every possible contamination source before and after processing of foods.

 

“Let our science give you peace of mind”

 

Please contact us at 519-767-6299 or aflinfo@uoguelph.ca for further information about this testing.

 

July 12, 2012

 

Microbial (bacteria, yeasts and fungi) Species Identification

 

Sound Science and Service:

 

Traditionally, identification of microorganisms is based on phenotypic characteristics such as morphology, Gram staining and biochemical reactions. The present status of the taxonomy of microbial species in Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology (2nd ed) is mainly based on comparative genetic analysis of the nucleotide sequences of the small subunit ribosomal RNA that is contained in all microorganisms. DNA sequence analysis is widely considered to be the best genotypic method for microbial species identification.

 

At Laboratory Services, University of Guelph, we conduct routine identification of "unknown" samples (bacteria, yeasts and fungi) using DNA from the microorganisms. You will receive objective, reproducible and cost-effective results rapidly without relying on growth, biochemical reaction and prior knowledge of the organism (e.g. Gram stain).

 

 

Expertise and Experience:

Laboratory Services has been providing microbial Identification services to academic, industrial and government clients for the past 15 years. The sequence generation and data interpretation are performed on a variety of sample types.  Our career scientists provide scientific and technical advice to our clients for solving difficult problems such as identifying fastidious species and species within a population.  

 

High Quality Results:

Laboratory Services is accredited to the international quality standard ISO/IEC 17025 for many specific tests listed on our scopes of accreditation and follows good laboratory practices. We can deliver accurate results from a wide range of starting materials, including pure cultures, and food or environmental samples. Our data has been used often to identify contaminants and in scientific publications and patent applications.

 

 

Fast Turn Around Times:

With pure cultures, clients can receive their results within 3-5 business days.

 

 

Competitive Pricing and Volume Discounts:

Please contact us for any specific project needs.

 

 

More Than a Single Species ID:

Laboratory Services also provides analysis of microbial population profiling in a complex sample, identifying a high percentage of species in samples by deep sequencing of targeted genomic regions of microorganisms.

 

 

Please contact us at aflinfo@uoguelph.ca or 519-767-6299 for more details regarding this testing.

 

 

December 7, 2011

What’s New at Guelph Molecular Center

GS Junior System (454 Sequencing) - Sequencing of whole microbial genomes or deep sequencing of targeted genomic regions.

This instrument provides analysis of microbial population in a sample, identifying a high percentage of species in complex samples with up to 100, 000 Long Reads.

 

Please Contact us for more information.

November 18, 2011

Volume Discount on Allergen Testing

We are pleased to announce that the Agriculture & Food Laboratory of Laboratory Services, University of Guelph is now offering volume discounts on allergen testing.  Please contact us for further information at 519-767-6299 or aflinfo@uoguelph.ca.

 

 

2011 Food Regulatory & Quality Assurance Summit– October 19th and 20th

 

On Oct. 19th and 20th the 2011 Food Regulatory & Quality Assurance Summit will be taking place at the Crowne Plaza Toronto Airport Hotel in, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In today’s rapidly changing and ever-evolving regulatory landscape, the food industry needs all the help it can get to navigate the new requirements of regulations, such as the Food Safety Modernization Act in the United States. Between the presenters and the wide range of attendees, you will undoubtedly find the guidance you are looking for and get answers to your most pressing questions. The University of Guelph, Agriculture & Food Laboratory (AFL) will be present and ready to provide details about our services and how they can support your regulatory endeavors and achieve compliance with assurance of quality and efficiency. We hope to see you there!

 

January 27, 2011

 

New Hours for Sample Reception

 

As of January 31, 2011, Sample Reception at the Agriculture & Food Laboratory of the University of Guelph will be open from Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 6:00 pm.  We have extended our hours to allow more convenient times for clients to drop off samples.

 

 

January 13, 2011

 

AFL to Increase Testing for Milk Quality

 

The University of Guelph’s Agriculture and Food Laboratory (AFL) has long been the “purity checkpoint” for Ontario, at least when it comes to the safety and quality of its milk supply. Read more...

 

May 31, 2010

On Monday June 7, 2010 the University of Guelph will implement a new phone system for the Agriculture & Food Laboratory.  The transition should be seamless and most numbers will remain active for some time to allow for a smooth transition.  However if you experience any issues with any of our direct dial numbers such as Customer Service 519-767-6299 please call the main switchboard of the University of Guelph 519-824-4120 followed by the extension 57299 (the last 3 digits of the current direct dial number with a 57 in front of them) alternatively our email system will remain active and we can always be reached at aflinfo@uoguelph.ca.