About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Accuracy in Food Laboratory Results Remains a Concern

by Bidita Debnath on May 21, 2013 at 3:22 PM
Font : A-A+

 Accuracy in Food Laboratory Results Remains a Concern

On a routine basis, food microbiology laboratories continue to submit false negative results and false positive results.

A retrospective study of nearly 40,000 proficiency test results over the past 14 years, presented today at the 113th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, examined the ability of food laboratories to detect or rule out the presence of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter.

Advertisement

"There is concern when laboratories report that pathogens are not found in a food sample, when in fact they are there," explained Christopher Snabes, lead author on the study. "This is known as a 'false negative'. Similar concerns arise when a laboratory reports a 'false positive' suggesting that pathogens are in the food sample, when indeed they are not."

The study found that, on average, food laboratories report false negatives of 9.1% for Campylobacter, a bacterial foodborne illness that may cause bloody diarrhea, cramping and fever, and 4.9% for Salmonella, a bacteria that may cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps sometimes leading to hospitalization or death. The false positive rate, on average, is 3.9% for Salmonella, and 2.5% for both E. coli and L. monocytogenes.
Advertisement

This study was conducted by the American Proficiency Institute (API) located in Traverse City, Michigan. API is a private institute that supplies proficiency testing programs for food laboratories and clinical laboratories.

API offers proficiency testing (PT) as an objective method for measuring the accuracy of a laboratory. Participants use API PT up to three times a year to examine the accuracy of their laboratory personnel and their testing methods. The purpose of PT is to determine if the laboratory professional can properly respond to API with correct answers as to what API places in a food sample. PT may test for presence or absence of a substance in a qualitative test, and sometimes PT may require an enumeration response, or quantitative test.

Currently, food laboratories are not required to assess the accuracy or quality of their tests. Laboratories that utilize API PT are doing so voluntarily. Some laboratories use API services to obtain and maintain accreditation. API food microbiology PT programs are used by over 700 food laboratories in 43 countries.

Proficiency testing is an objective means for measuring laboratory accuracy. "Improved accuracy in our nation's food laboratories will lead to a safer food supply," noted Snabes.

The Food Safety Modernization Act, passed in 2011, included sweeping changes to the country's food safety requirements. Model laboratory standards and laboratory accreditation are addressed as important components of the law. Once rules are promulgated, it is anticipated that all food laboratories will need to ensure that their personnel, and the test methods they use, are in compliance with the law. Yet, food laboratories may start using proficiency testing now to help ensure a safer food product.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Menstrual Disorders
Coffee May Help You Fight Endometrial Cancer
Fermented Skin Care
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Why Do We Eat - Nutrition Facts Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Hunger Fullness and Weight Control Label Lingo on Food Items: Decoded Top Diet Foods that Make you Fat Top Food for Dieters Selenium - Natural Source Better than Supplements 

Recommended Reading
Slow Food Joins Hands With UN to Promote Local Recipes in Africa
Sustainable food movement organization Slow Food has joined hands with the UN food agency in an ......
Nutrition Experts Offer Food and Exercise Tips for Summer Slim Down
Tips for those in search of a summer slim down were offered by the University of Alabama at ......
Fish Oil may Reduce Effects of Junk Food on Brain
Fish oils could minimise the effects that junk food can have on the brain, reveal data from more ......
Study Says Salt in Foods is Still High
Salt levels in processed foods or foods sold at fast food restaurants are high despite calls by ......
Hunger Fullness and Weight Control
An erratic way of eating or any metabolic disturbance in the hunger fullness signals is one of the m...
Label Lingo on Food Items: Decoded
Read on to become a “pro” in “label reading” and don’t get tricked by fancy promotions of food produ...
Selenium - Natural Source Better than Supplements
Selenium is a powerful anti-oxidant that prevents cell damage and helps in thyroid hormone productio...
Top Diet Foods that Make you Fat
Every nutrition fad comes with its share of diet foods. While they seem healthy, many diet foods pro...
Top Food for Dieters
A diet food contains protein, fiber and good fats, which help in weight management. Diet foods if co...
Why Do We Eat - Nutrition Facts
The importance of eating food and the physiological, psychological and social functions of food....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
CONSULT A DOCTOR
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)