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Chapter 6 : Sampling, Transport, and Sample Preparation in Emergency Situations and Rapid Response

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Sampling, Transport, and Sample Preparation in Emergency Situations and Rapid Response, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

Consequences of poorly collected, incorrectly transported, and inadequately prepared samples include failure to recover and identify the foodborne pathogens or toxins present and the misidentification of potential hazards or sources of contamination. Investigations should also extend beyond the immediate preparation of the implicated food and investigate the processing chain environment from farm to fork including sources of ingredients, processing and storage environments, and transportation. This chapter focuses on the foodborne illness outbreak scenario, and much of it is applicable to validation procedures relevant to hazard analysis critical control points (HACCP) or to situations in which a customer complaint is received. In terms of food safety microbiology, a sample may be considered to be a portion of food, surface, or air considered representative of a larger matrix. Sample collection methods include contact plates, destructive samples (food/excision), food rinsates, cotton swabs, premoistened sponge, wipes, sterile tongue depressors, and air sampling vacuums (agar plate/filter). When examining a food processing plant, sampling should initially be based on the HACCP plan. The chapter highlights the main problem with sampling surfaces, where the swab method may only remove a fraction of the microbial flora from a carcass when compared to an excision sample. It is critical that professionals involved in public health have well planned strategies to efficiently deal with foodborne outbreak scenarios including rapid sampling techniques, sampling plans, rapid detection, and molecular subtyping protocols for the major foodborne pathogens.

Citation: O’Brien S, Whyte P, Iversen C, Fanning S. 2011. Sampling, Transport, and Sample Preparation in Emergency Situations and Rapid Response, p 95-101. In Hoorfar J (ed), Rapid Detection, Characterization, and Enumeration of Foodborne Pathogens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817121.ch6
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Handling a foodborne illness outbreak.

Citation: O’Brien S, Whyte P, Iversen C, Fanning S. 2011. Sampling, Transport, and Sample Preparation in Emergency Situations and Rapid Response, p 95-101. In Hoorfar J (ed), Rapid Detection, Characterization, and Enumeration of Foodborne Pathogens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817121.ch6
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References

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1. Cummins, E.,, P. Nally,, F. Butler,, G. Duffy, and, S. O’Brien. 2008. Development and validation of a probabilistic second-order exposure assessment model for Escherichia coli O157:H7 contamination of beef trimmings from Irish meat plants. Meat Sci. 79:139154.
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5. Kornacki, J. L. 2000. The nuts and bolts of food safety. Food Testing Anal. 40:1822.
6. Kornacki, J. L. 2010. How do I sample the environment and equipment?, p. 125–136. In J. L. Kornacki (ed.), Principles of Microbiological Troubleshooting in the Industrial Food Processing Environment. Springer Press, New York, NY.
7. Kretzer, J. W.,, M. Biebl, and, S. Miller. 2008. Sample preparation: an essential prerequisite for high-quality bacteria detection, p. 15–23. In M. Zourob (ed.), Principles of Bacterial Detection: Biosensors, Recognition Receptors and Microsystems. Springer Press, New York, NY.
8. O’Brien, S.,, M. Lenahan,, T. Sweeney, and, J. Sheridan. 2007. Assessing the hygiene of pig carcasses using whole body carcass swabs compared to the four site method in EU Decision 471. J. Food Prot. 70:432439.
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