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Mobile Health and Food Safety Lab Rolling Through UWRF

By Trista Gropp

Oct. 13, 2010--The University of Wisconsin-River Falls is another stop for the bioMérieux Odyssey, a mobile health and food safety lab on a nationwide quest to bring lab automation and educational opportunities to all areas of the country.

The semi truck housing the lab will be on campus Oct. 18-20 as a featured highlight of the 30th Annual Food Microbiology Symposium. The Odyssey will be parked in the circular lot between Chalmer Davee Library and the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building, in front of the University Center. The lab will be open Oct. 18 from 1-5 p.m., Oct. 19 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and Oct. 20 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

When visiting the Odyssey, parking can be found on the local streets or in the metered lot west of North Hall.

While being part of the annual symposium attended by experts and professionals from around the world, the Odyssey will be available for touring by the general public as well. The mission of the Odyssey is to spread awareness about important issues that impact everyone, food safety and multi-drug resistant organisms. These resistant organisms, or “superbugs” are one of healthcare’s biggest concerns, but a visit to the Odyssey can set the public on the defense. The lab will provide industry professionals with innovative training and education on advanced diagnostics solutions that improve public health.

The Food Microbiology Symposium begins Oct. 17 on the UWRF campus. The opening session is open and free to the public and begins at 7 p.m. in the Kinnickinnic River Theater in the University Center. Roy Betts, head of microbiology at Campden BRI in Chipping Campden, United Kingdom, will be presenting “Microbial Problems in Foods --The Next Generation.”

The symposium is organized by UW-River Falls’ Purnendu Vasavada, a professor of food science, and is celebrating 30 years of providing a technical program consisting of lectures and discussions on foodborne pathogens, toxins, safety, quality and shelf-life issues by speakers from academia, industry and regulatory agencies.

Preregistration and a fee is required for the full conference. More information about the Food Microbiology Symposium is available at http://www2.uwrf.edu/afs-all/institutes/foodmicro/welcome.htm or call 715-425-3704.


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