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
The staff at Delaware State University has tested a total of 280 retail catfish samples for chemical contaminants and 163 samples for microbiological contaminants. Results were transferred to the Food Safety Inspection Service through emails, quarterly reports, teleconferences, and face to face meetings.