The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA’s FSIS) and bioMérieux have announced the incorporation of bioMérieux’s GENE-UP® QUANT Salmonella assay into the methodology used by FSIS regional laboratories. FSIS states that Salmonella quantification is part of the agency’s efforts to reduce Salmonella illnesses associated with poultry and to modernize FSIS laboratories’ diagnostic capabilities. Using this new system, FSIS will be able to measure the amount of Salmonella present in a regulatory sample, not solely its presence or absence.

Despite the many Salmonella interventions that have been developed over the last two decades, the incidence of Salmonella infections in humans has not improved. Historically, the common method of Salmonella prevalence testing used by the agrifood industry has been a percentage-based approach focusing on the safety of the final product.  

Introduced earlier in 2022, GENE-UP® QUANT Salmonella is a new testing methodology that provides information at various touch points from flock-to-fork, effectively reducing antimicrobial use, cost, and waste. The system is the first and only true non-enrichment quantification diagnostic for Salmonella that has been approved by the Association of Official Analytical Collaboration International (AOAC). GENE-UP® QUANT Salmonella is also based on a non-enrichment process that can offer true quantification of Salmonella presence in less time than current methods on the market.

After evaluating commercially available quantification systems, FSIS determined that GENE-UP® QUANT Salmonella is the most appropriate for sampling raw poultry rinses in its high-throughput laboratory environment. Using the new bioMérieux system, the agency will be able to measure the amount of Salmonella present in a regulatory sample rather than solely determining the pathogen’s presence or absence. FSIS plans to extend pathogen quantification technology to sample types other than raw poultry rinses in the future. The agency will announce when the method is available and when it will be implemented in all three FSIS food testing laboratories in a future USDA Constituent Update.