• Lab testing continues after FDA recall

News & Views

Lab testing continues after FDA recall

Mar 11 2010

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) lab testing is being used to analyse the presence of salmonella in a range of products following a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recall.

Certain items containing the flavour enhancer hydrolysed vegetable protein (HVP) were confirmed to be contaminated with the deadly pathogen.

HVP is often added to processed foods such as dressings, soups, gravies and pre-packaged meals and scientists are using PCR lab equipment due to its rapid results, which can be fundamental in time-sensitive projects.

FDA associate commissioner for food protection Jeff Farrer, speaking at a press conference, said: "We don't know precisely how large this recall will get, but we expect this to get larger over the next several days to several weeks."

Salmonella causes serious and even fatal infections, particularly in children and elderly individuals.

Those who consume the organism can suffer nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting as a result, with severe consequences such as infected aneurisms also possible.

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