New test for salmonella faster

Nov. 30, 2010 at 10:16 PM
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COLUMBIA, Mo., Nov. 30 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say they have developed a faster and more accurate test for salmonella.

University of Missouri-Columbia scientists say the advantage of the new test is the reduced testing time that could enable companies to have accurate results before shipping. This could help keep salmonella infected products off market shelves, the researchers say.

Earlier this year, an outbreak of salmonella caused by infected eggs resulted in nearly 2,000 illnesses before a costly recall of a half billion eggs could be implemented, the researchers say.

"Processors and consumers will benefit from the speed and sensitivity of the new test's results," lead test developer Azlin Mustapha of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources says in a statement.

Mustapha says salmonella food poisoning can cause salmonellosis -- a disease in humans characterized by diarrhea, vomiting, fever, abdominal cramps and, in severe cases, death.

Salmonella testing in poultry is important, says Mustapha, because it persists in birds' spleens and reproductive tracts and infected birds pass the infection on in all of their eggs.

Mustapha, Luxin Wang and colleagues conducted a research study on the test. The results have been published in the Journal of Food Science.

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