Salmonella test for food processing surfaces receives AOAC approval

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food

A rapid, easy-to-use method that allows food processors to test plant equipment and surfaces for the presence of salmonella before it contaminates food has received AOAC approval, said SDIX.

The US-based company announced its RapidChek Select Salmonella system earned Performance-Tested Methods (PTM) certification last month from the AOAC Research Institute (AOAC RI) as an analytical method for detecting Salmonella species on environmental surfaces such as stainless steel, concrete, plastic and rubber. It has also received validation from the Association Française de Normalisation (AFNOR) is the French national organization for standardisation.

“The certified test can now help food processors quickly and accurately identify if Salmonella is present in their facilities before it can cross-contaminate food during production,”​ said the firm.

Early warning

The analysis, which has a 24-hour turnaround time, has been designed to combine ease of use with reduced product hold up time and early detection of environmental contaminants, SDIX food safety market manager Tim Lawruk told

The latest approval is an extension to test which was previously certified for various food types in 2006. The new test system is identical except that less enrichment media is required. An environmental sample is taken - typically with a pre-moistened sponges or swab - and the standard 24-hour protocol is followed, explained the food safety manager.

The method uses an advanced lateral flow detection system and does not require samples be sent to an external lab, said Lawruk.

He added that conventional cultural methods typically require up to 72 hours to perform - but that there is “at least one other competitive rapid test method using PCR technology that is also 24 hours”.

Emerging risk environments

SDIX said that part of the driver behind the new application was the emergence of salmonella contamination in processing environments where the bacteria had previously not been considered a significant risk.

“Recently, the food industry has seen an increase in Salmonella contamination of ready-to-eat, low moisture foods, previously thought to be unrelated to salmonellosis infection, such as chocolate, cheese, raw nuts, and peanut butter,”​ said Lawruk.

The test would “enable food processors to make decisions in 24 hours without comprising accuracy or ease of use”,​ he added.

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