RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- Inside a microbiology lab at NC State University, researchers are working to learn how salmonella can survive in low-moisture foods such as the recalled snacks likely sitting in your pantry.
Within the last week, both Pepperidge Farm and Mondelez recalled varieties of Goldfish and Ritz Crackers because of salmonella concerns.
Both companies cite a recall from their ingredient supplier of whey powder, which is used to flavor the crackers.
"Whey powder itself got contaminated most likely from environmental contamination in the processing plant where it was made," said Dr. Sophia Kathariou.
Dr. Kathariou and her team say the food industry has controls in place to minimize the risk of salmonella contamination, but there's clearly room for improvement.
"We believe that if we understand how salmonella survives, if we understand the mechanisms involved, then we can improve on the strategies that we have in place," said Victor Jayeola, NCSU Ph.D.Candidate.