Researchers Work on Developing a Rapid Salmonella Detection Test
Researchers at Cornell University and the University of Georgia, along with the Mars Global Food Safety Center located in Beijing are working to develop a method of whole-genome sequencing that will quickly identify Salmonella in food within eight hours. The researcher’s goal is use the developed method which would allow for much faster results than the current standard for Salmonella. The Salmonella detection process usually takes anywhere from three days, up to twelve days. Identifying the bacteria quickly will provide the source of contamination whether that is produce, meat, or processes foods.
“As the food supply chain becomes ever more global and interconnected, the opportunity for food to become contaminated with Salmonella increases. In the fast-moving world of food manufacturing, where rapid identification and response to Salmonella contamination incidents is critical, developing a more efficient pathogen identification method is essential,” said Silin Tang who is the lead author and senior research scientist in microbial risk management at the Mars Global Food Safety Centre.
Salmonella bacteria infections are the most commonly reported foodborne illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates around 1.35 million Salmonella illnesses every year. Salmonella food poisoning causes diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramping, and low-grade fever. These symptoms usually present about 12-72 hours after consuming the contaminated food. Most patients are able to recover fully on their own, however those with a compromised immune system, children, and the elderly are at a higher risk for severe complications, therefore saving time in the laboratory testing and identifying foodborne contamination is imperative to the health of the public.