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Workshop on the Application of Genomic Tools for the Rapid Molecular Characterization of Bacterial Isolates in Food-borne Disease Outbreak Investigations Ottawa, ON, February 24-25, 2014

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Technical Report

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Canadian Food Inspection Agency Ottawa, Ontario Canada

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Recent developments in genomics technologies are creating a major shift in the characterization and management of microbial hazards in the food supply. Increasingly, regulatory food safety specialists charged with investigating food contamination and illness outbreak events must synthesize new types of information to arrive at a final decision in determining the best course of action mitigating public health impacts.On February 24 and 25, 2014, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency CFIA hosted a facilitated workshop in Ottawa, ON to focus on the application of genomic tools for the rapid molecular characterization of bacterial isolates in food-borne disease outbreak investigations. The two-day workshop brought together approximately 85 participants, including scientists and regulatory food safety experts involved inconducting food-borne disease outbreak investigations at the provincial and federal levels. The meeting agenda and list of participants can respectively be found in Appendices A and B of this report. The workshop featured a panel of food safety experts from Canada and the international community presenting an overview of genomics technologies as applied in the identification, characterization and typing of bacterial food-borne isolates, as well as some case studies highlighting the role of genomics inthe resolution of critical regulatory food microbiology issues in their respective jurisdictions.

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