Building Stronger Food Safety Programs through Next-Generation Sequencing

Building Stronger Food Safety Programs through Next-Generation Sequencing

Date: June 7, 2017 at 2:00 PM EDT


Food recalls cost an average of $15M per incident and cause irreparable harm to brands’ reputation and credibility. They also cause significant harm to individuals, with 48 million people getting sick from foodborne illnesses each year (CDC). Today’s food testing technologies are having a hard time keeping up, as highlighted by several high-profile outbreaks and recalls in 2016.

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is poised to replace PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) as the standard in food safety testing. In the next 5 years, the cost and speed of NGS will meet and then quickly surpass legacy technologies. Even today’s NGS technologies are deployment-ready for applications including food safety, supplier verification, environmental monitoring, research & development, and new product development.

The primary limitation of PCR is that it’s targeted, meaning you have to know what you’re looking for. It’s also conducted one target at a time, meaning that each target you wish to test requires a separate run. This is costly and does not scale. Next-generation sequencing, by contrast, is universal. A single test exposes all potential threats, both expected and unexpected. From bacteria and fungi to the precise composition of ingredients in a given sample, a single NGS test guarantees that hazards cannot slip through your supply chain.

This webinar features experts in the field: Mahni Ghorashi, co-founder of Clear Labs and Dr. Lawrence Goodridge of McGill University, who will discuss how food safety professionals can leverage the latest in NGS to fortify their food safety programs, verify suppliers, and conduct novel R&D for new product development. This webinar covers:

Safety Testing

Advances in NGS allow retailers and manufacturers to securely identify specific pathogens down to the strain level, test environmental samples, verify authenticity, and ultimately reduce the risk of outbreaks or counterfeit incidents. Find out how modern NGS technologies, backed by the world’s largest food database and augmented by machine-learning and DNA-matching algorithms can be deployed with great benefit in your supply chain.

Supplier Verification

NGS technologies can be used to combat economically-motivated food fraud and mislabeling and verify supplier claims. The FDA and FSMA now require food facilities to implement preventive controls to avoid food fraud, which today occurs in up to 10% of all food types. Traditional PCR-based tests cannot distinguish between closely related species and have high false-positive rates.

NGS offers high-resolution, scalable testing so that you can verify suppliers and authenticate product claims, mitigating risk at every level.


Leading food manufacturers & CPG companies can leverage NGS-based metagenomic analysis for R&D and new product development to build the next-generation of health foods and nutritional products, as well as to perform competitive benchmarking and formulation consistency monitoring.

Who Should Attend:

  • Microbiologists
  • Testing personnel
  • Management
  • Anyone who wants to learn about new technology