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23rd October 2012  Content supplied by: 

Testing Peanut Butter for Salmonella using the Rapid LT Real-Time PCR

R.A.P.I.D. LT real-time PCR systemFood pathogen outbreaks can result in costly recalls for producers, and erode consumer confidence. Reliable and accurate detection methods to prevent release of tainted product are critical for effective food quality control.

Following the recent outbreak of Salmonella directly linked to tainted peanut butter from a New Mexico food producer, a comparative study using the R.A.P.I.D. LT real-time PCR system was performed at Marshfield Food Safety Laboratory, testing a variety of foods including peanut butter. The study confirmed that the R.A.P.I.D. LT test protocol was as sensitive as the USDA/FSIS MLG and FDA/BAM methods.

For peanut butter 25g in 225ml of pre-warmed buffered peptone water (BPW) was homogenized then incubated for 16 hours at 37oC ± 2oC. Following incubation the peanut butter sample was processed using the R.A.P.I.D. LT FSS real-time PCR system according to the Salmonella LT FSS instruction booklet. The Salmonella LT reagent test kit is AOAC approved and offers a fast, specific method for detecting Salmonella in foods such as peanut butter. Results are obtained in less than one hour.

Of the 20 portions tested containing on average 0.75 Salmonella per 25g sample the Rapid LT detected all 5 confirmed positives while the reference method only detected 3 of the 5 confirmed positive samples.

This study confirms both the excellent sensitivity and speed of the Rapid LT Real-Time PCR System when testing batches of peanut butter.

The results of the complete study are available from Microbiology International ( or 800-396-4276).

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Date Published: 23rd October 2012

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