Environmental Monitoring Program Searching, Seek & Destroy

Part 2: Destroy

In Part One, we talked about searching and tools to help manage the increased volume and frequency of environmental sampling for an EMP. But increased testing will likely cause an increase in positives.

There is no escape and that’s for sure
This is the end, we won't take any more
Say goodbye to the world you live in…[1]

The seeking is working, but destroying is an entirely different matter.  The corrective actions taken in response to a positive, which will vary based on the root cause of the positive.  Typically, a single positive is treated via additional cleaning and sanitizing, and then retesting three times to obtain negatives. But how did that pathogen get there to begin with? What if another test site, close by, tests positive later?  Are they the same?  Are they different? 

Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) is a relatively new technology that is rapidly emerging as a valuable tool in the investigation of EMP positives. The DNA sequence of the pathogen(s) can help identify whether that organism is “walking” from one site to another, continuing to show up in the same spot or if they are different from each other. The corrective actions taken are different for each of these scenarios and can help focus in on destroying a potential “resident” organism. Otherwise, without knowing whether they are the same or different, the corrective action might not be the correct one.

Tools like CONTROL (Part 1) or WGS (Part 2) won’t guarantee a pathogen free environment but they can have a profound impact on the effectiveness of an EMP.  And can help any food company as they are….

Seek and destroy[2]



[1] (Ulrich, 1982)
[2] (Ulrich, 1982)