Jeffrey Hoorfar - Articles and news items
Issue 3 2011 • 7 July 2011 • J. Hoorfar, C. Löfström & M.H. Josefsen, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark and F. Hansen & S. Mansdal, Danish Meat Research Institute and J. Andersen, Danish Crown A/S and G. Pedersen, TiCan amba
Due to the very short shelf-life of fresh (especially ground) meat, slaughterhouses benefit from faster screening tests to dispatch Salmonella-free meat as soon as possible after slaughter. An increasing number of European countries require that the meat is tested as free for Salmonella before it is imported. This is currently the case for Sweden and Finland, which have a special agreement with the European Commission for import of fresh meat.
This was the background for collaboration between Danish scientists and the two major Danish slaughterhouses. The research project aimed at reducing the time of testing from 24 – 28 hours (when the project started in 2006) to obtaining results within the same day as the samples are collected. Slaughterhouses have a two shift working day of 16 hours, which makes it feasible to design a faster test, while control laboratories usually have an eight hour working day.
PCR testing of pathogens has gained widespread use in quality control laboratories throughout the food industry. Many excellent easy-to-use commercial kits are now available for a wide range of microorganisms. But are there any other potential uses for PCR other than a simple plus/minus response that indicates presence or absence of a pathogen harmful to consumers? And why is it important for the food industry to make more use out of PCR testing?
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