Researchers at Iowa State University have developed a test to check for Salmonella that can provide results in a couple of hours.
The testing process was developed by Byron Brehm-Stecher, assistant professor in food science and human nutrition, and his graduate student Bledar Bisha. The process starts with testing the food or produce with a strip of adhesive tape.
According to an article from the Iowa State University News Service, the testing process consists of the following steps:
1. Tape is applied to the produce and carefully removed, taking a sample of whatever is on the skin.
2. The sample is placed a slide and soaked in a mixture with a genetic marker that binds with Salmonella and produces a fluorescent glow when looked at under an ultraviolet light. Use of this genetic marker approach is called Fluorescent In-Situ Hybridization, or FISH.
3. In about two hours, investigators will know if the produce is contaminated with Salmonella.
Brehm-Stecher and Bisha have termed the testing process tape-FISH and indicate that it could be an important technique for investigating Salmonella.
The researchers’ findings will be published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, published by the American Society of Microbiology.
For more information go to www.public.iastate.edu/~nscentral/news/2009/feb/salmonella.shtml.