Scientists develop a better way to detect salmonella in chicken meat

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salmonella chicken meat

Salmonella is the leading cause of bacteria-associated foodborne illnesses in the United States. An estimated 142,000 Americans are infected each year with Salmonella from chicken eggs, and about 30 die.

Now researchers from Arkansas State University find a better way to detect salmonella in chicken meat in only 3 hours. The finding is published in Journal of Food Safety.

Researchers first artificially contaminated food with salmonella. Then they used a magnetic bead-based immunoassay to detect the bacteria in the food samples.

Their test could find salmonella with the detection limit of 280 colony-forming unit (CFU)/mL in less than 3 hours without any enrichment and further decreased to 70 CFU/mL with 3 hours enrichment.

Researchers also tested the new method in ground beef samples artificially contaminated with other bacteria (S. Typhimurium and Enteritidis), and the detection limits increased to 800 and 200 CFU/mL, respectively, due to the effect of complex food matrices.

However, when 12 hours enrichment was added, the detection limits in both food matrices decreased to 1 CFU.

Researchers suggest that the developed test has great potential as a simple monitoring method for foodborne pathogens in food samples, which can improve food safety and public health.

This is great news, because currently even with all the strategies used to minimize contamination of beef and poultry, they are still one of the major food vehicles for salmonella.

The test will be suitable for any government research or industry that routinely tests for salmonella and other pathogens in the near future.

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Citation: Herzig GPD, et al. (2016). Magnetic Bead-Based Immunoassay Coupled with Tyramide Signal Amplification for Detection of Salmonellain Foods. Journal of Food Safety, 36: 383-391. DOI: 10.1111/jfs.12255.
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