Invisible Sentinel Inc. yesterday announced that its first-in-class rapid diagnostic for the detection of Salmonella species has received Performance Tested MethodsSM (PTM) certification from the Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC).

The company’s Veriflow® Salmonella species assay (Veriflow SS) has been approved to detect bacterial contamination by Salmonella in multiple food types, including ready-to-eat foods, deli meat, and dairy products, and on various surfaces with which food is in contact during preparation and packaging.

The AOAC is a global standardization organization that validates analytical test methods for the food industry. The AOAC's PTM designation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, and global regulatory agencies.

With the certification of Veriflow SS, Invisible Sentinel has now achieved AOAC approvals for multiple assays designed to protect against illness due to contaminated food. The Veriflow Listeria species assay (Veriflow LS) was approved earlier this year, and the Veriflow Campylobacter assay (Veriflow CA) and Veriflow Listeria monocytogenes assay (Veriflow LM) received approval last year.

An Invisible Sentinel press release pointed out that food poisoning due to Salmonella remains a significant public-health problem in the U.S., where testing for this foodborne pathogen accounts for upwards of 40% of the food-testing market. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 42,000 cases of food poisoning due to Salmonella are reported every year, and the actual number may be far greater. Although many cases are mild, it is estimated that 400 people die of Salmonella infection each year.

Currently, the CDC is investigating an outbreak of salmonellosis [linked to Foster Farms' raw chicken products] that has spread to 25 states. Though it was first reported last year, the outbreak has been persistent, resulting in 481 reports of people who have become ill, 38 percent of them requiring hospitalization. The outbreak strains are resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics.  

Invisible Sentinel officials said they anticipate receiving AOAC approval of a fifth assay in the Veriflow line, the Veriflow STEC assay, later this year.