Submitted to: ARS Food Safety and Inspection Service Research Workshop
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 2, 2006
Publication Date: February 2, 2006
Citation: Barton Ii, F.E., Himmelsbach, D.S., Jackson, C.R., Seal, B.S. 2006. Fast and faster methods to identify and quantify bacterial contaminations. ARS Food Safety and Inspection Service Research Workshop. Technical Abstract: The age old dilemma in food safety is by the time an analysis for bacterial contamination is completed, the product is already in the marketplace and probably consumed. The usual methods of culturing, sub-culturing, sereotyping and using typical microbiological procedures can take weeks. The use of more modern techniques which depend on genomics has greatly reduced the time for analysis, but it is still days. This presentation will discuss the time savings accrued in PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and the newer adaptations. One of the newer methods rep-PCR (repetitive extragenic palindromic PCR) takes one day out of the process and with the use of array chips can produce a result in one and a half days. Other methods include PFGE (Pulsed Field Gel Elecgtrophoresis) and other variants which are being used to generate searchable databases for epidemiological research use. The bottom line is that these methods, while accurate and very specific, are still time consuming and expensive. Fluorescence spectroscopy holds the promise of inexpensive and rapid determination of a potential problem to screen samples before moving on to the other methods for a final determination.