Salmonella Limits Testing Year in Review Part 1

Posted by Lisa Leier-McHugh on Feb 26, 2016 10:45:58 AM

poultry_houseWhat a difference a year makes. Last year after the 2015 International Poultry Expo, I wrote a blog post about the newest “Buzz” around pathogen testing called Salmonella Limits Testing in PoultryAt the time, the Limits testing approach was developed for Ground Poultry product where the approach involved fresh ground product that has been determined to have greater than 1 CFU/gram of Salmonella present in an assigned lot. This >/< limits approach is based upon a producers desire to keep higher Salmonella levels, which could potentially pose a higher health risk. 

What exactly is Limits Testing?

For those readers who may not have been caught up in the earlier buzz and are just now starting to hear about this analytical technique, it is the ability to set semi-quantitative limit of detection for a target pathogen and quickly and reliably detect it in a wide range and variety of matrices. 

Limits testing for Salmonella species was originally based upon pioneering work of a poultry producer in the industry who understood that Salmonella is going to happen. Salmonella positivity is undeniable, common and fairly expected occurrence related to poultry and its environment. If one supplies a poultry matrix enough of the correct nutrient, temperature conditioning and time, chances are extremely high you will detect it.

Concerns surrounding this very prevalent gram negative bacterium are shifting from the “if” Salmonella is present to “how much” Salmonella is present.  The most common application of a limits approach involves fresh ground product that has been determined to have greater than a 1 CFU/gram of Salmonella present in an assigned lot.  This >/< limits approach is based upon a producers desire to keep higher Salmonella levels, which could potentially pose a higher health risk, out of commerce.  In a year since the “Limits” approach was introduced, it has moved into practice for some producers with finished raw products. Others in the poultry industry have done what the poultry does best, innovate and adapt by taking this concept and applying it even further throughout the processing environment.  

What is new this year with the Limits approach?

In a year since the “Limits” approach has moved into practice for some producers with finished raw products, the poultry industry has innovated and adapted by taking this concept and applying it throughout the processing environment. 

Interested in hearing what was said during the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) Tech Exchange session. Click here or the button below to view the presentation: Limits Testing Applications from Live Production to Finished Product An Additional Lens for Salmonella Load and Process Control done by W, Evan Chaney PhD.

Download and View Limits   Testing Presentation 

Since then, other forward thinking customers have challenged Roka and Limits testing with new applications throughout the poultry supply chain. Today Roka has worked on several applications using a limits based approach in situations from live production environments to pre and post chill rinsates, poultry parts, poultry trim and freshly ground fresh products.  Each situation and matrix reveal new information to a company which is valuable and useful for their particular situation.