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FDA Cautions Food Firms to Insist on Confirmatory Test for Salmonella Analysis

EMSL Analytical always performs a culture-based confirmatory test for Salmonella


In a revised document, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stresses caution when testing for Salmonella in human foods and direct-human-contact animal foods. Their guidance instructs firms to insist on an extra confirmatory test after receiving a positive screen result for the presence of Salmonella. Moreover, the analysis should be conducted according to the cultural method measures advised in the FDA’s Bacteriological Analytical Manual (BAM) or a validated non-BAM method.
The new document, Guidance for Industry: Testing for Salmonella Species in Human Foods and Direct-Human-Contact Animal Foods, explains that cultural methods can provide one of three results: a presumptive positive, a confirmed positive, or a negative result. The guidance remarks that firms should consider any confirmed positive to be valid.
“Some testing laboratories report a positive result for Salmonella without confirmation—only to find out later that the pathogen was not actually there, but an organism that resembles it,” states Joy Dell’Aringa, M.S., RM (NRM), CFSP, National Food Microbiology Supervisor at EMSL. “Without the culture-based confirmatory tests, there is no way to say definitively that Salmonella is present or not.”
“EMSL Analytical always offers post-screening confirmatory tests for presumptive positive samples using validated methods, so our clients can be assured of our results’ accuracy,” she continued.
For more information on EMSL’s food testing services, please contact EMSL at (800) 220-3675, email, or visit or
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is a full service testing company providing quality lab services under the same private ownership since 1981. Including the corporate lab facility in Cinnaminson, NJ, EMSL Analytical operates over thirty laboratories nationwide in the US and Canada. We provide analytical services for environmental, indoor air quality (IAQ), industrial hygiene, forensics and materials science, consumer products, food safety, PCR, pharmaceutical, asbestos, lead, and radiological samples. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations, as well as state and federal regulating bodies. Please see our website for a complete listing of accreditations.
Astley, Mark. “FDA Guidance Urges Food Firm Salmonella Test Caution.” Food Quality. N.p., 12 Mar. 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2012.



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