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pathogen testing

Putting Salad Bar Safety to the Test

Salad bar

A South Carolina TV station recently had 15 different salad bar items tested for pathogen contamination, and while lab results indicated that no E. coli, Listeria or Salmonella were present, relatively high numbers of microbes and total coliform bacteria were. WMBF in Myrtle Beach, SC, shipped a cooler packed with samples of four types of items… Continue Reading

Mixed Results Shown in USDA Quarterly Tests for Salmonella and Campylobacter in Poultry


Last summer’s preliminary data from Salmonella and Campylobacter testing of raw meat and poultry for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) are out, and there were mixed results. During the July-September quarter, FSIS collected and tested 3,985 samples for its Salmonella and Campylobacter verification program. The percent-positive rates for both Salmonella and Campylobacter in… Continue Reading

FSA Chastises UK Retailers for Resisting Release of Campylobacter Stats


The United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) Monday criticized British supermarkets for not wanting to be named in the results of its Campylobacter testing program, set to be released this this week. The second round of findings, due out on Wednesday, will reveal which stores had the highest and lowest number of positive tests for… Continue Reading

Lab Testing: Hunting for Pathogens on Poultry


The mishandling or undercooking of raw chicken meat associated with the recent Foster Farms Salmonella outbreak has sickened nearly 340 people across 20 states and Puerto Rico since March and has caused concern among consumers, consumer groups, and food-safety advocates about the safety of our food system and the efficacy of testing systems designed to… Continue Reading

Food Testing: Labs Test for Pathogens at Different Rates in the U.S. and Europe

Lab testing produce

Microbial testing can be a helpful way to identify pathogen risks for fresh produce, but it’s not a guarantee of safety. That’s why this one option in the toolbox is used differently by Americans and Europeans. Testing in the U.S. varies somewhat from company to company, but it follows similar procedures that were standardized in… Continue Reading

Safety of the National School Lunch Program’s Frozen Ground Beef Products



The government’s Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) Commodity Procurement Staff purchases a variety of food products for use in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and other food assistance programs. One of these commodity items is frozen ground beef. All ground beef that is generated for the NSLP is further processed and cooked at other USDA… Continue Reading

3M Salmonella Detection Gains Worldwide Certification


A Salmonella detection technique developed by Minnesota-based conglomerate 3M has been determined to be as effective or more effective than standard methods of detecting Salmonella in seafood and vegetable products, and in environmental samples taken from food processing sites, the Paris-based AFNOR CERTIFICATION expert committee has found. This follows AFNOR CERTIFICATION’s validation in December of… Continue Reading

Campylobacter Screening Method Holds Promise for Detecting Outbreak Source


In a new study, a team of California-based scientists shows that by targeting and analyzing a specific gene in Campylobacter, labs can screen dozens of isolates of the bacteria to find the handful most likely to be the source of an outbreak. Unlike other enteric bacteria, such as E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter is so diverse… Continue Reading

MDP Shuts Down; USDA Testing of Produce for Pathogens Halted


The Microbiological Data Program, which used to conduct 80 percent of all federal produce testing for pathogens like Salmonella and Listeria, officially shut down on December 31, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official confirmed. The $4.5 million program had been in shutdown mode since mid-November. State agriculture departments, which tested samples of leafy greens, melons,… Continue Reading

Rapid Tests Less Effective in Identifying Foodborne Illness Sources


New tests that detect common foodborne pathogens more rapidly are less likely to trace contamination to the source, since they provide less specific information than older, slower tests, say public health officials. As a consequence, sources of foodborne illnesses outbreaks will not be identified as quickly, state epidemiologists told the Scientific American in a report… Continue Reading