New Technology Developed to Detect Multiple Pathogens in Food

By: Michele Wolfson

This summer's distribution of deadly cantaloupe nationwide was another catastrophe that provoked scientists to create a preventative method that would avoid an incident like this from happening again in the future. Today, a conference at Kent State University will announce the discovery of a single test will be able to detect multiple harmful pathogens in food called The Crystal Diagnostics MultiPath System.

Listeria contaminated cantaloupes are just the tip of the iceberg. One in every six Americans is affected by food-borne pathogens (causing an estimated 48 million illnesses) and results in 3,000 deaths a year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Therefore, there is a need for faster detection of harmful pathogens. The Crystal Diagnostics' technology will not only offer speedier results, it will also provide the most efficient way to test beef for strains of E. coli such as the ones that have caused a recall on millions of pounds of meat at great expense recently in Germany. In addition to testing many strains of E. coli, Crystal Diagnostics can also detect Salmonella and Listeria in the same assay.

Twenty-eight people recently died from Listeria contaminated melons, so it is evident that the need for a method that can test food products for multiple harmful pathogens in a fast and efficient way is great.  "This new technology can have a profound impact on public health" said Paul Repetto, CEO of Crystal Diagnostics. "The nature of the technology very significantly reduces false positives and negatives even before the built-in protection of the two control cells is considered. False positives require longer product holds while retesting is accomplished; false negatives represent a different and a vastly more serious problem for food producers." This unique food testing system will recognize issues and produce results on a mechanism, such as an iPad, in less than 30 seconds.

Click here to watch a video and find out more on how Crystal Diagnostics works.

Photo:  Microbe World 

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