Micro Labs Add Specific Viral and Parasitic Tests
In order to proactively address the ever-changing needs of various food industries, our microbiological laboratory is now proud to offer tests for viral and parasitic contaminants. PrimusLabs has added cyclospora, hepatitis A, and norovirus tests to its list of microbiological services.
Cyclospora cayetanensis – protozoan parasite
- Cyclospora is a protozoan parasite responsible for the gastrointestinal disease cyclosporiasis. Previously thought to be mostly a foreign disease, 2018 marked the first Cyclospora case confirmed to originate from domestically grown produce. This parasite has been found in vegetable trays, salad mixes, and various imported fresh produce. As this parasite has become more of a forefront in the food safety industry, PrimusLabs has taken steps to become a leader in the preventative and proactive detection of
Hepatitis A – Virus
- Hepatitis A is a virus that causes liver disease that can be spread from ingesting contaminated food and water.
- Outbreaks of Hep A have been linked to various foods, but recently there has been a focus on frozen berries. The FDA has discovered 3 different Hep A outbreaks that caused illness in over 400 people. They have speculated that the origin of these outbreaks is from contaminated water, harvesting tools, and ill farm workers. Because of these recent events, the FDA now requires Hep A testing on frozen berries. Smoothie makers rejoice!
Norovirus – Virus
- Norovirus is an extremely contagious virus that causes gastrointestinal disease. It is spread from person to person and from ingesting contaminated food or water. According to the CDC, it is the leading cause of inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It has been known to cause up to 800 deaths yearly.
- The CDC states that because of viral biology, new strains can develop every year which can double the number of illnesses from the previous year.
- Like Hep A, norovirus has been found in various berry products – because of this, the FDA is also requiring Norovirus testing along with Hep A testing on berry products.
PrimusLabs’ Yuma, AZ facility has begun using Real-Time PCR Detection Methods (FDA BAM 19B) to detect Cyclospora. Additionally, Primus uses Real-time PCR analysis coupled with end-point melt peak analysis for both Hep A and norovirus testing of various fresh produce types. Hep A and Norovirus are offered at three of our US sites (Yuma, Salinas, and Santa Maria). All three tests can be performed with fast turnaround times of 3-5 days! Contact us for a quote!