A rapid test can tell you if salmonella is in chicken

A rapid test can tell you if salmonella is in chicken

Scientists in Canada say they have developed a cheap and easy way to detect salmonella in food. Their method detects bacteria within an hour and with less preparation than an at-home coronavirus test. They believe poultry handlers and food preparers alike can use their test.

Salmonella bacteria are among the most common sources of foodborne illness. In the United States alone, it is estimated to cause around 1.35 million injuries, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths annually. Most infections are self-healing, if very bothersome, and do not require antibiotic treatment. But super salmonella is also becoming a major problem, making severe cases more difficult to treat or prevent.

Salmonella strains that cause human disease are abundant in wild and domestic animals, especially chickens. And although food producers routinely check their products for salmonella and other foodborne germs, current lab tests usually take a day or more to return results. Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario say the next-generation test could be faster and easier to use.

The test is based on a synthetic molecule made by researchers that interacts with bacteria. This molecule is packed between microscopic particles made of materials such as gold. When a contaminated liquefied food sample comes into contact with the test, one of the bacterial enzymes in salmonella reacts with it and slices open the package, pouring the molecule into the liquid. The liquid sample is then placed on a specially prepared paper strip, and thanks to a biosensor the researchers also created, the molecule will stain any liquid that has contaminated the paper read in less than an hour. The redder it is, the more food is contaminated. The team's test results were published in the journal Angewandte Chemie this week.

"These tests are easier to use than the Covid test, which many people are already doing," study author Carlos Felipe, chair of the chemical engineering department at McMaster, said in a statement from the university. "For this to be as effective and useful as possible, it has to be easy to use."

Chicken is the best-known source of salmonella infection, but the team says their test should be able to detect the bacteria in beef, dairy, and other food products at risk. And while it will take more research and development to confirm and scale up the test's efficacy, the team has already received funding from nonprofit research organization Mitacs and Toyota Tsusho Canada Inc. Ltd., a subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho Corporation in Japan; The latter company also plans to commercialize the test.

0/Post a Comment/Comments