Food Microbiologist at Work
They may be lurking in your vacuum cleaner bag, your child’s pet turtle droppings, or in the fresh onions you just sliced to garnish your cheeseburger. They might be in your burger, too. While they are naturally found in the intestinal tract of food livestock such as cows, pigs, or chickens, when they exhibit signs of being in your intestinal tract—you may find that for a few days your body feels as though it’s been taken over by an alien lifeform. They are Salmonella, rod-shaped, nearly always pathogenic bacteria that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, account for about 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths each year in the United States alone. Learn what one Illinois Institute of Technology alumnus is doing to decrease those numbers.