The pilot plant facility is unique in Canada for being able to work with pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Listeria and Salmonella to validate emerging food safety technologies in the country. Some of the emerging food safety technologies to be investigated in the new laboratory involve treatment of pathogens with ultra high pressure, ultra-violet light, microwaves, ultrasounds and ozone. Within the facility, three special containment units, called BioBubbles, will contain any contaminated materials produced while testing processes and prevent release of pathogens in the environment. As well, a microbiology lab and a cold storage unit are dedicated to the lab’s activities.
The facility will be used by scientists at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the University of Guelph and the food industry. It will foster numerous collaborative opportunities among industry, government and academic partners.