Food safety testing is a growing market, that could be worth over $16 billion by 2020. The Food Safety Studio is a new facility in Bellevue, Washington, owned by MilliporeSigma, where manufacturers can test food for pathogens like E. coli or Salmonella, or obtain training from company scientists. Problem microbes are Listeria, Campylobacter, and Cronobacter can also be identified. Testing food often involves using genetic testing to identify problem microbes, their toxins, or genes that encode their toxins. For example, toxins from Staphylocci can cause food poisoning if they're present in eggs, potato salad, or dairy products. Antibody tests such as ELISAs can also be used for microbial testing.
This type of service helps manufacturers refine their processes and minimize the chance of introducing or spreading food borne illnesses. Food manufacturers also use testing to identify microbes associated with spoilage.
Source: Food Safety Studio opens in Bellevue, The Seattle Times, Sep 3rd, 2017
Photo credit: Sandra Porter, PhD