Guest Column

Pathogen Technology Drives Higher Resolution In Food Safety Testing

Mary Duseau, SVP and Chief Commercial Officer, Roka Bioscience

By Mary Duseau, SVP and Chief Commercial Officer, Roka Bioscience

Higher resolution can bring dramatic change in the discovery and understanding of the world around us. One great example is the recent pictures sent back from the New Horizons spacecraft. As recently as five years ago, Pluto was a pixelated gray dot with no definition. In 2006, NASA launched the New Horizons Spaceship knowing that the investment would not pay off for another decade. The recent pictures of Pluto have provided resolution of the atmosphere and landscape never thought possible.

This same paradigm can be applied to food safety. With recent advances in sequencing, macro-biome profiling, food identification, and, of course, pathogen technology, the industry has a tremendous resource of tools at its fingertips. A critical tool often ignored for a number of reasons are the advanced options for pathogen detection.

Pathogen detection plays a pivotal role in any food safety process. While significant investments can be made in easier-to-sanitize manufacturing equipment, development of preventative control programs, and training/re-training personnel, the effectiveness of these, and other preventative measures, is only as good as the performance of the pathogen test method used to verify. Therefore, the pathogen testing program is the lens by which these programs are monitored. This lens needs to offer a rapid, sensitive, and accurate picture of the environment, process, and product to allow for effective mitigation and an overall improvement in preventative control.

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