Warriner’s Lab (food safety and food microbiology)

University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario
What the facility does

Research on the microbiological safety of food

Areas of expertise

Warriner’s Lab performs short- and long-term projects in the primary area of food safety. We have worked with a diverse range of industry and stakeholders to develop and validate novel processing technologies (e.g. high hydrostatic pressure, UV technologies, ozone applications and bacteriophages). The results of our studies are used to promote technologies to commercialization and to provide validation data for approval by regulatory bodies. Mainstream academic research is focused on determining the dissemination of emerging pathogens within the food chain, water treatment/recycling technologies, produce decontamination technologies and biosensor development. The research is primarily focused on fresh produce (including sprouted seeds) and meat. Additional research is looking at the prevalence of emerging pathogens (non-O157 STEC; Clostridium difficile), the dormant state in bacteria and interventions to control them.

Research services

Process validation and verification, shelf-life stability testing, molecular source tracking, micro-ecology, electrochemical biosensor development, pathogen diagnostics, UV-based treatments, high hydrostatic pressure, water-treatment and recycling technologies

Sectors of application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Chemical industries
  • Clean technology
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Manufacturing and processing
DiversiLab bacterial bar codesElectrocapillary electrophoresis for generating virtual gels from PCR products; primary use is microbial source tracking
16S rRNA-DGGEFor separating PCR products from 16S rRNA typing; primary use is probing the microecology of food and environmental matrices
AC impedance spectroscopySolartron impedance analyzer with a working range of 0.01 kHz to 100 kHz can be applied to determine corrosion rates of metals or transduction signal for biosensors
PotentiostatSolartron and epsilon potentiostat for developing electrochemical diagnostic devices
UV reactorsBased on the Taylor-Couette, Taylor-Dean and thin-film flows for treating opaque liquids, these reactors are specifically designed to ensure efficient mixing when UV treating opaque liquids
Advanced oxidation process reactorBath reactor for treating foods with a combination of UV and hydrogen peroxide; unit has primarily been applied for decontaminating fresh produce
Forced Air Ozone ReactorUnit to apply ozone gas for decontamination of fresh produce and low moisture foods
  • Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food
  • Center for Produce Safety
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
  • Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems
  • National Research Council
  • National Center for Food Protection and Defense
  • National Science Foundation-Guelph Food Technology Centre
  • Gridpath Solutions Ltd.
  • Mushrooms Canada
  • Maple Leaf Foods
  •  Pillers Ltd.
  • Trojan Technologies
  • Sunkist
  • Moyers Apple Products
  • Clean Works Coporation
  • Metropolitan Tea Ltd
  • Agri Neo Ltd
McDonald’s burgers don’t rothttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gidsNjq0icw
A University of Guelph campus championhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRZKdgEmMrA
Meet the Prof = University of Guelphhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=FHDfn62PpG4
Biocontrol of salmonella associated with tomatoeshttp://www.ctvnews.ca/ont-scientist-working-on-inoculation-for-tomatoes-1.302135
Control of Listeria monocytogenes on food contact surfaces by antimicrobial coatingshttps://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/februarymarch-2018/control-of-listeria-monocytogenes-on-food-contact-and-noncontact-surfaces-by-antimicrobial-coatings/
Podcast- Produce, biosensors and successful researchhttps://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/podcast/ep-37-keith-warriner/
Aqueous vs. aqueous-free: Controlling pathogens on fresh produce and low-moisture foodshttps://www.biomerieuxinnovation.ca/en/blog/aqueous-vs-aqueous-free-controlling-pathogens-on-fresh-…
Food pathogen interventions: spotlight on UVhttp://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/05/food-pathogen-interventions-spotlight-on-uv/#.UdDE7BaioZc
Development of ultraviolet Taylor-Couette reactor to apply non-thermal pasteurization on milkhttp://oatd.org/oatd/record?record=handle%5C%3A10214%5C%2F4055
Bacteriophages for combatting salmonella in pork productionhttp://www.betterfarming.com/files/PPP09%2017.pdf
Decontamination of apples using forced air ozone reactor and AOP



Relevance of the persister state in Shiga Toxin Producing Escherichia colihttps://youtu.be/60Zz8eJZrOE