Solutions for Detecting Salmonella in Peanut Products

Erin Dreyling Ph. D. and Bindu Sundaresan Ph. D. 


There are several ways in which peanut products may become contaminated with Salmonella, such as exposure to animal feces during growth, harvest, or while in storage. The bacteria can also enter food-processing plants through raw agricultural products, humans, or water as a result of leaking roofs or puddles on floors. Proper sanitation and verification of process controls is critical, as the bacteria may remain viable on surfaces for several months.

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As a result, it is critical to establish a strict food safety system with periodic Salmonella testing to monitor and verify process controls.  

An acceptable test method should meet the following criteria: 

  •          Validation
  •          Sensitivity and specificity
  •          Time to result
  •          Error reduction and lab efficiency 

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