Development of a Simple, Quantitative Kit to Test Vegetables and Fruits for Evidence of Fecal Contamination
Department of Agriculture
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Scientific Methods, Inc.
12441 Beckley Street, Granger, IN, 46530
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractFoodborne outbreaks of infectious disease have been associated with the contamination of fresh produce by infectious microorganisms such as hepatitis A virus. However, the indicator microorganisms currently used to assess the level of contamination in fresh produce are limited to bacterial microorganisms such as the total and fecal coliform groups that may have shorter half lives than the true enteric pathogens of interest. These bacterial indicators may not correlate with the presence/absence of enteric viruses effectively in fresh produce that may be consumed raw and sometimes fail to indicate contamination events. The project is to develop a simple and quantitative kit to detect coliphages as improved indicator microorganisms that more accurately index fecal contamination events. At the conclusion of the phase I study, the conceptual framework will be field-validated in a multi-state study to establish its robustness.
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