Food Safety Watch: So-called culture-independent diagnostic tests (CIDTs) help doctors diagnose foodborne infections in a matter of hours because they do not depend on traditional bacterial culture techniques, which often take several days to complete. Unfortunately, the absence of a bacterial culture makes it difficult to obtain detailed information from the bacteria responsible for the infection, such as genetic fingerprint and genome sequencing data.

CDC is concerned that the increasing use of CIDTs could compromise their ability to detect foodborne outbreaks, track foodborne disease trends and check for antibiotic resistant pathogens.