New testing tool for quick salmonella detection

Salmonella and other foodborne illnesses deter many pet parents from feeding their pets raw food. This new testing tool could be the solution.

Every year, more than 48 million people in the US get sick from foodborne illnesses. These illnesses are a common deterrent among those who would like to give their animals raw food, despite the many benefits this type of diet offers. Part of the problem is that current testing methods on the commercial market don’t allow for rapid detection of salmonella – one of the most common pathogens in raw meat. But a biosensor being developed at the University of Missouri is changing that.

The new technology, detailed in PLOS ONE, will give retailers and regulators earlier warnings about salmonella contamination in both raw and ready-to-eat foods, before they reach stores.

Conventional testing takes days to produce results. “With this new device, we can produce results in just a few hours,” says professor Mahmoud Almasri, one of the biosensor’s creators.

Almasri and his team are in the process of applying for the funding necessary to make the device available to the public. It may take a few years, but the hope is that it will help prevent salmonella poisoning outbreaks.