Narrator:This is Science Today. Bacteria that cause food poisoning, including salmonella and E.coli, have been around a very long time. But over the years, the public has become more knowledgeable and concerned about these organisms. Leland Rickman, who is medical director of the Epidemiology Unit at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center, says that's partly due to an increase in press coverage.
Rickman: It's not that they're new bacteria with new properties, but the public has become more interested.
Narrator: In fairly recent years, researchers have also benefited from technological advances in the field.
Rickman: In food poisoning cases, we're able to do what we call molecular fingerprinting, where we can actually trace or relate different bacteria in different parts of the country or world to one common source. So of course it makes for very interesting press, very interesting reading and an exciting life for all of us people involved in infectious diseases to be able to do this.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.