FDA plans database for identifying foodborne germs

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration plans to create a database of 100,000 foodborne germs in an effort to speed up the government's response to outbreaks of salmonella, E. coli and other food-related diseases.

The five-year effort aims to sequence the genetic code of the most common foodborne germs. With this information, FDA says scientists may be able to create tests that can identify foodborne germs in a matter of days, rather than weeks. Every year about 48 million people in the U.S. get sick from foodborne bacteria.

The agency will partner with scientists at the University of California, Davis, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Agilent Technologies Inc., a company which specializes in testing equipment.

FDA plans to make the completed database available to the public.

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