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Title: Response to the Questions Posed by the Food Safety and Inspection Service Regarding Determination of the Most Appropriate Technologies to Adopt for FSIS Routine and Baseline Microbiological Analysis

item ALTERKRUSE, S - Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS)
item BOOR, K - Cornell University
item COOK, MARGARET - Tyson Foods
item COLE, E - US Department Of Commerce
item FREIER, T - Cargill Corporation
item JAYKUS, L - North Carolina State University
item KING, R - Department Of Defense
item MAZZOTTA, A - Campbell Soup Research
item KOWALCYK, B - Center For Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention (CFI)
item PERENCEVICH, E - University Of Maryland
item RUPLE, A - US Department Of Commerce
item SCOTT, J - National Grocers Association
item THOMPSON, S - Hershey Company
item ZINK, D - US Department Of Health And Human Services (HHS)
item Wesley, Irene

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/4/2010
Publication Date: 6/1/2010
Citation: Alterkruse, S.F., Boor, K.J., Cook, M., Cole, E., Freier, T., Jaykus, L., King, R., Mazzotta, A., Kowalcyk, B., Perencevich, E., Ruple, A., Scott, J., Thompson, S., Zink, D., Wesley, I.V. 2010. Response to the Questions Posed by the Food Safety and Inspection Service Regarding Determination of the Most Appropriate Technologies to Adopt for FSIS Routine and Baseline Microbiological Analysis. Journal of Food Protection. 73(6):1160-1200.

Interpretive Summary: Foodborne illnesses in the United States account for an estimated 76 million cases and 5000 deaths annually at an estimated cost of $152 billion annually. In order to improve rapid detection, enumeration, and characterization of foodborne pathogens, the National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) reviewed currently available microbiological testing methods and established critical performance criteria for selecting, evaluating, and validating new technologies. Advantages and disadvantages of potential emerging methods that employ new technologies including rapid, on-site analysis; discrimination between viable and non-viable cells; the need for an isolate; qualitative versus quantitative results; and multianlyte considerations are discussed. Criteria that need to be considered as FSIS seeks to apply non-culture based molecular methods to replace the regulatory “gold standard” of culture-based testing are proposed. Implementing new technologies will secure a safe food supply from farm to fork.

Technical Abstract: The National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) should provide guidance to assist with the United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS) Agency’s goal of moving into the next generation of microbiological testing methods. To do so, NACMCF reviewed the current status of molecular methods, including genotyping assays, nanotechnology, and other available or evolving technologies for potential applicability to FSIS microbial analysis and explore their roles for incorporation into FSIS microbiological testing programs at both the laboratory and in-plant level. Analyses for use in FSIS laboratories versus within plants are likely to require different technologies. Analyses carried out in FSIS laboratories will be used for baseline monitoring of national microbial trends and regulatory sampling. In-plant sampling may primarily help in assessing process control and real-time monitoring of plant performance. FSIS requested the NACMCF to examine the merits of available technologies for application to FSIS microbial testing with a focus on: Selectivity and sensitivity; Adaptability to various matrices (including foods, the processing environment, and human clinical samples); Scope of analyses (including species identification, serotype equivalence, antibiotic resistance, PFGE equivalence, and additional indicators of microbial hazards, such as virulence factors); Enumeration; Data acquisition and transfer; Speed; Ability to be effectively incorporated into FSIS methods; Cost and resource efficiency.