Pathogens - Articles and news items

In a nutshell: Tim Lawruk, Market Manager Food Safety, SDIX

Issue 6 2011  •  4 January 2012  •  Tim Lawruk, Market Manager Food Safety, SDIX

SDIX is a biotechnology company, founded in 1990, whose portfolio includes food safety, supplying rapid pathogen test technologies. SDIX also designs, develops and commercially produces antibodies. In the life science market, SDIX’s technology and capabilities are being used to help discover disease mechanisms, facilitate development of new drugs, and provide antibodies and assays for the diagnosis of disease. “We’ve leveraged this core competency of antibody development into the design, development and validation of unique antibody-based test methods for food pathogens,” Lawruk explains. “It provides a platform to develop sensitive and specific anti – bodies that are proprietary to SDIX. Our rapid pathogen tests are a cost effective, simple to use lateral flow test strip design that allows us to provide the accuracy required by labs, similar to molecular-based and other more complex automated food pathogen detection platforms.” ]The major advantage to rapid pathogen test technologies is in the name – it’s fast. “The ability to determine the safety of a food product hours or even days faster provides a significant cost savings in terms of storage costs, shipping, product shelf life and overtime,” Lawruk says. “For example, a processor of food products that follows a test-and-hold policy would have to have storage capacity for two days production if they are using a 48 hour culture method compared to only one day’s capacity if using a rapid 24 hour method.”

PCR technologies for the detection of pathogens in the food industry

Issue 1 2011  •  3 March 2011  •  Geraldine Duffy, Head of Food Safety Department, Teagasc Food Research Centre

Food safety is critically important to the public health of the consumer and the economic sustainability of the agri-food sector. The consumer wants assurance that food is safe and for the food industry the economic implications and loss of goodwill associated with a food poisoning incident or scare has increased the necessity to provide assurance on food safety.

To provide assurance of safety, foods are tested to ensure they conform to micro – biological criteria for particular microbial pathogens and / or hygiene indicator organisms. There are many challenges in the detection of food pathogens; in particular, they are generally present in very low numbers in the food (often < 100 cfu g-1) in the presence of up to one million other microbial flora.

Whole room disinfection – potential for environmental pathogen control?

Issue 5 2010  •  5 November 2010  •  Alicja Malinowska & John Holah, Campden BRI

To meet retailer, customer and consumer expectations, there are increasing demands within the food industry for higher standards of microorganism control in food production environments. Traditional approaches such as cleaning and disinfection regimes have been targeting specific sites within the processing environment to control contamination. Such sites might include food production equipment, where much of the rest of the processing area is not routinely decontaminated.

To sustain day-to-day control of pathogens, this targeted cleaning and disinfection approach is adequate, but does not eliminate all microorganisms. Previous research at Campden BRI has demonstrated that microbial strains, including pathogens, can become persistent in food factories and survive for several years1,2.

FISHing for pathogens: Rapid detection of whole microbial cells in foods

Issue 3 2010, Past issues  •  30 June 2010  •  Byron Brehm-Stecher, Assistant Professor, Rapid Microbial Detection and Control Laboratory, Iowa State University

Today’s food production and distribution networks are extremely efficient. We are able to move food from the field to the table rapidly and effectively – on a global scale – under conditions that maximise quality, visual appeal and nutritional content. Unfortunately, toxigenic or infectious microbes may also come along for the ride at any number of points along this farm-to-fork journey. As we have seen with recent incidents in the United States, contaminated ingredients provided to large food companies by relatively small niche players can wreak havoc throughout the food chain.


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