Ongoing debates about the use of rapid microbiological test methods in food safety have led to the rise of many questions about the future of this type of testing. This column will explore which methods are being used, food processors' views on what attributes of the tests are most important, how fast is fast enough, and what even faster tests would enable them to accomplish. It also explores where the growth may continue and whether rapid methods used in commercial labs will continue to drive growth, or if a plateau is likely. Growth in regions outside of the U.S. and Europe will also be examined, along with whether rapid testing technology is evolving to the point where it may be acceptable to bring back the analysis to an in-plant lab.
Ongoing debates about the use of rapid test methods in food safety have led to the rise of the question: Has the vast increase in outsourcing testing to contract labs made rapid methods less useful, or is the ease of use and speed of the methods still important (if not essential) for better management and decision-making in food safety? Food Safety Insights asks food safety professionals their opinions on this question.