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Rapid Detection of Salmonella in Pet Food: Design and Evaluation of Integrated Methods Based on Real-Time PCR Detection

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Reducing the risk of Salmonella contamination in pet food is critical for both companion animals and humans, and its importance is reflected by the substantial increase in the demand for pathogen testing. Accurate and rapid detection of foodborne pathogens improves food safety, protects the public health, and benefits food producers by assuring product quality while facilitating product release in a timely manner. Traditional culture-based methods for Salmonella screening are laborious and can take 5 to 7 days to obtain definitive results. In this study, we developed two methods for the detection of low levels of Salmonella in pet food using real-time PCR: (i) detection of Salmonella in 25 g of dried pet food in less than 14 h with an automated magnetic bead–based nucleic acid extraction method and (ii) detection of Salmonella in 375 g of composite dry pet food matrix in less than 24 h with a manual centrifugation-based nucleic acid preparation method. Both methods included a preclarification step using a novel protocol that removes food matrix–associated debris and PCR inhibitors and improves the sensitivity of detection. Validation studies revealed no significant differences between the two real-time PCR methods and the standard U.S. Food and Drug Administration Bacteriological Analytical Manual (chapter 5) culture confirmation method.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Life Technologies, 850 Lincoln Centre Drive, Foster City, California 94404, USA 2: Procter & Gamble, 8700 Mason-Montgomery Road, Mason, Ohio 45040, USA 3: Life Technologies, 850 Lincoln Centre Drive, Foster City, California 94404, USA 4: Q Laboratories, Inc., 1400 Harrison Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45214, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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