Association of Food and Drug Officials

Laboratory Investigation of Foodborne Illness

March 10, 2017 3:01 PM | AFDO Test

May 23–26, 2017
Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Laboratory Services Division
St. Paul, MN 

Sponsored by the National Laboratory Training Network in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Laboratory Services Division 

This three and one-half day basic to intermediate level workshop will feature in-depth presentations and hands-on sessions on bacterial foodborne illness. Experts will present the most current information on test methodologies including separation techniques, PCR technology and toxin testing. The role of the public health laboratory (PHL) in foodborne illness investigation will be discussed. Strategies in laboratory safety and method validation will be presented. Participants will perform a variety of testing methods using selected foodborne etiological agents. 

course flyer

preliminary application

This basic to intermediate level course is intended for laboratory personnel working in public health laboratories who have a minimum of one year experience performing microbiology testing and responsibility (or the potential) for conducting food microbiology testing. 

At the conclusion of this program, the participant will be able to:

  • Describe the challenges to detecting pathogens in food. 
  • Explain the process and methods for isolating bacteria in food samples. 
  • Discuss the advantages and barriers to detecting foodborne pathogens by molecular methods. 
  • Define the activities necessary to validate a new laboratory procedure. 
  • Provide an overview of laboratory accreditation. 
  • Perform procedures for the identification of B. cereus, Staphylococcal enterotoxin, E.coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes
  • Analyze and interpret results of identification assays. 
  • Define the role of the PHL in foodborne illness investigation. 


  • Matthew Forstner, BS, Microbiology Supervisor, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Laboratory Services Division, St. Paul, MN 
  • Darcy Hanes, PhD, Captain, United States Public Health Service, Food and Drug Administration, Division of Virulence Assessment, Laurel, MD 
  • Kirsten Larson, MPH, Manager, Food Safety, Association of Public Health Laboratories, Silver Spring, MD 
  • Kristina McCallum, BS, Deputy Lab Manager, Biochemistry Laboratory, Colorado Deptartment of Agriculture, Denver, CO 
  • Yvonne M. Salfinger, MS, FL Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, (retired) Bureau Chief, Bureau of Food Laboratories, Denver, CO 
  • Bryanne Shaw, BS, Biology Section Manager, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Laboratory Services Division, St. Paul, MN 
  • Christopher Waggener, PhD, Lead Scientist, FERN Training Coordinator, Division of Consolidated Laboratories, Richmond, VA    

Application Deadline: Extended to March 17-contact APHL immediately if interested in attending

  • The preliminary application is to be completed online.
  • Only completed applications received by the deadline will be considered. Application does not guarantee acceptance. If you are unable to complete the application online, email Susan Bailey or phone 240.485.2746.
  • Public health applicants must have approval from their state or local laboratory director to apply. 
  • Students will be selected according to the degree to which the applicant's job description, experience, and responsibilities are consistent with the prerequisites. 
  • Priority will be given for one applicant per public health laboratory, with a second person considered on a space available basis.
  • Notification of acceptance status will be sent via email after February 21, 2017.


  • Registration for this workshop is being offered at No Charge to the participants! 
  • Registration and logistical details will be provided upon acceptance into the course. 
  • Some states have lengthy travel approval processes so begin as soon as possible. Do NOT make travel arrangements until you are notified of acceptance into the course. 
  • Participants are responsible for lodging, meals, and travel costs. A group lodging discount is being negotiated at the current federal per diem rate of $145.00 (plus tax and fees) per night. 
  • Daily transportation to and from the hotel and laboratory will be provided.

The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E. ® Program. Participants who successfully complete this program will be awarded 27 contact hours. This course has been approved for 27 contact hours in the category (Microbiology/Mycology/Parasitology) for Florida Laboratory Licensees.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), individuals seeking special accommodations should submit their request in writing at least three weeks prior to start date of the workshop to APHL Customer Support. For more information phone 
800.536.6586 or 240.485.2746. 

Please email Susan Bailey, APHL Customer Service Manager.

This training was supported by Cooperative Agreement # NU60HM000803 funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC or the Department of Health and Human Services. This project was 100% funded from a federal program with federal funds of $1,722,464.00.

The National Laboratory Training Network is a training system sponsored by the 
Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For a complete list of courses, visit


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