A new test to check specifically for listeria monocytogenes is available as part of the 3M Food Safety line of molecular detection assays.
The St. Paul, Minn.-based company already offered detection products for general listeria species, E. coli 0157 and salmonella. With the addition of the listeria monocytogenes test, shippers can check for specific listeria species.
At the recent Center for Produce Safety Research Symposium in Rochester, N.Y., listeria expert Martin Wiedmann from Cornell University stressed the importance of testing for the specific species listeria monocytogenes.
Although Wiedmann did not endorse any specific tests, he said those that merely show that some kind of listeria is present do not provide the best information for fresh produce growers and shippers
The new test from 3M uses isothermal amplification of nucleic acid sequences plus bioluminescence. The combination allows presumptive positive results to be delivered in real time. Positive results can be available as quickly as 15 minutes.
Users can test for multiple pathogens at the same time and up to 96 samples can be tested simultaneously, according to 3M.