1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
1. Sample domestic and imported catfish products from retail establishments in DE, MD, VA, and PA to provide baseline data on heavy metal contamination including arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, zinc, and melamine. 2. Sample domestic and imported catfish products from retail establishments in DE, MD, VA and PA to provide baseline data on food borne pathogens including Salmonella spp., coliforms, Escherichia coli, and Listeria monocytogenes. 3. Train students to become proficient in the analysis of heavy metals and food borne pathogens of catfish. 4. Develop an educational program to increase knowledge of domestic and imported catfish food borne pathogens aimed at catfish producers, retailers/distributors, state agency personnel, seafood processors, and future FSIS catfish inspectors.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
All laboratory work will be carried out at the Delaware State University Catfish Research and Education Center. Upon arrival at the laboratory, samples will be divided into two lots, one intended for analysis of food borne pathogens and the second for heavy metal contaminants. Microbiological analysis will be conducted immediately upon return to the laboratory. Samples for heavy metal analysis may be stored in a freezer for up to one week prior to analysis. Samples will be tested for the prevalence of Salmonella spp., coliforms, Escherichia coli, and Listeria monocytogenes. E. coli analysis will be quantitative while coliforms will be determined by the most probably number (MPN) methods. Salmonella spp., and L. monocytogenes prevalence data will be qualitative using methods described in the Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook (MLG, 2008).
3. Progress Report
Funding provided to Delaware State University, as pass through grant funds (see annual report for 1935-42000-054-03R), from the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service, to the Delaware State University to address the research needs of the USDA FSIS Office of Catfish Inspection Program. Transfer of catfish inspection duties from the U.S. FDA to the USDA FSIS was mandated by the 2008 Farm Bill. The funds were disbursed to Delaware State University in January 2010. Major equipment, as outlined in the grant proposal, has been purchased. The research to address the microbiological quality and safety of retail catfish, in addition the assessing the incidence and prevalence of chemical contaminants in retail catfish, was initiated by DSU scientists in June, 2010. Three research coordination meetings have been held since December, 2009. Preliminary results of the research will be presented at a Federal Catfish Research Meeting in August, 2010. Progress has been monitored through meetings, conference calls and site visits.