In the U.S. alone, there are an estimated 47.8 million illnesses, more than 127,000 hospitalizations and 3,000-plus deaths attributed to foodborne illness each year. Salmonella alone accounts for 1 million foodborne illnesses each year to an overall economic cost of $2.65 billion per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Consider this: Of the estimated 280 million tests for pathogens in 2016, salmonella was the target in approximately 120 million tests …. In 2015, a study from the American Proficiency Institute on about 18,000 testing results from 1999 to 2013 for salmonella found false negative rates between 2% and 10% and false positive rates between 2% and 6%.
If you multiply the sheer volume of tests by incidence rate of salmonella and those accuracy rates, the difference of just a few percentage points creates a compounding effect that unnecessarily increases public health risks through elevated false negative results as well as …. false positives that result in unnecessary but costly recalls.
Fast, accurate and specific results can help identify the cause of a public health issue and cause a faster resolution …. The technology capable of achieving all three today is a cutting edge and advanced method of next-generation sequencing (NGS) testing. This method looks at specific locations of the genome that are useful for identifying specific pathogens ….
Read full, original article: Accuracy in food safety: Why good enough isn’t good enough