PCR food testing

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PCR food testing is the engagement of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technologies for the testing of food for the presence or absence of human pathogens, such as E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, etc.

PCR test results offers faster, more accurate test result data than traditional microbiological culture methods, which typically require 24 to 48 hours of growth time and often report less than 100% specificity and sensitivity. PCR results can be reported from 30 to 55 minutes after the initiation of the amplification run. PCR test results report very close to 100% specificity and sensitivity. Four sample collection sites for PCR food testing can be:

  1. The food irrigation water.
  2. The food wash water.
  3. Environmental samples collected in the food processing facility.
  4. The finished food product, whether fresh or processed.

Each of these sample types can be collected, prepared and PCR tested within a short time for many sample types. Some sample types may require sample enrichment via shortened culture growth periods prior to PCR testing.

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