A new analysis of the results of laboratory proficiency testing by the American Proficiency Institute (API) has revealed that many food microbiology labs continue to submit false negative and false positive results on a routine basis.
The study, presented at the 2013 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Denver, Colorado, looked at almost 40,000 proficiency test results submitted over the last 14 years to determine the ability of the labs to detect E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes and Campylobacter.
The results show an average false negative report rate of 9.1% for Campylobacter and 4.9% for Salmonella. The false positive rate was 3.9% for Salmonella and 2.5% for Listeria and E. coli. Lead author on the study, Christopher Snabes, expressed concern over the findings commenting, “Improved accuracy in our nation’s food laboratories will lead to a safer food supply.”
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