An estimated 25-81 million cases of foodborne illness and an estimated 9,000 deaths are associated with consumption of contaminated foods each year. Therefore, the presence of microbial and chemical pathogens at any stage of food production, processing, and distribution must be quickly determined in order to allow proper treatments before food consumption by the general public. To help achieve these goals, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other agencies use the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). The AFM is implemented in food science research to observe the nanoscale structure of foods and other biomaterials and for investigating diseases, such as E. coli cells and salmonella.
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