bob new header
For immediate release: September 28, 2023
MDARD media contact: Chelsea Lewis-Parisio, 517-331-1151

MDARD Laboratory Highlights ‘Food Safety Education Month’ by Testing Cantaloupes for Salmonella

LANSING, MI – September is National Food Safety Education and Awareness Month, and employees at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) William C. Geagley Laboratory are showcasing how they protect Michigander’s food supply and public health from foodborne illness.

Routinely, MDARD food inspectors bring in a variety of food samples to Geagley’s Food Safety Microbiology Laboratory for testing to make sure the food we eat is safe. In past years, Michigan has seen outbreaks of salmonella in cantaloupes. Through microbiological testing and whole genome sequencing, cantaloupes can be tested to ensure a proactive food safety environment.

“Our Geagley Laboratory ranks as one of the nation’s top chemistry pesticide and food safety laboratories and serves as one of the most important consumer protection watchdogs in Michigan,” said Craig VanBuren, Laboratory Division Director. “Work is being done around the clock within our labs to ensure we’re protecting Michigan’s food supply and the public health of Michiganders.”

Watch the process of how MDARD tests for salmonella: Testing for Salmonella in Melons – YouTube

FoodSafety_Testing_MDARDProtecting the food supply, reducing the risk of foodborne illness, and responding to foodborne illness outbreaks are high priority efforts for MDARD, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the state’s local health departments, and federal agency partners.

For more information on how to prevent foodborne illness or how to report suspected cases of foodborne illness, visit