The Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand (FPSC) has released a new industry report on rapid diagnostic methods for the detection of foodborne pathogens.

The report, Rapid Diagnostic Methods for Foodborne Pathogens: Outlook for the Fresh Produce Industry, was commissioned as part of the FPSC 2025 Innovation Agenda and was produced with the input of experts and industry professionals.

The FPSC set out to review the area of ‘rapid diagnostics’ – the way that pathogens can be quickly, reliably and cost-effectively be identified on fresh produce – and to discover what research was being undertaken, what stage of development these rapid technologies are at and what needs to happen so that growers and others in the supply chain can use these technologies for quick and reliable testing for pathogens on fresh produce.

The report details the state of current research on technologies for the quick identification of pathogens, identifies the most promising technologies for the fresh produce industry, and provides conclusions and recommendations including the next steps that should be taken to advance the field of rapid diagnostic methods.

The Chairman of the FPSC, Mr. Michael Worthington, said of the report’s release: “The potential to transform food safety in the fresh produce industry over the coming years is an exciting prospect. We’re eager to focus on areas that can achieve that through our 2025 Innovation Agenda – rapid diagnostic methods is an area ripe for innovation.”

Mr. Worthington said: “Through this report, we are engaging in a discussion with industry about what next steps to take to advance this exciting field of research and we look forward to embarking on those conversations to advance rapid diagnostic methods.”

“We highly commend the report to our industry, research and government audiences to encourage the discussion around improvements in fresh produce safety methods and technologies.”

Mr. Worthington added: “It is only through a continued reach for innovation that we can strive for a healthier and safer industry.”

Read the full report and two-page summary.

To support the release of this report and to drive the conversation within industry, the FPSC is hosting a one-hour webinar on Monday 19 July 2021 1-2pm AEST. Registrations for the webinar can be found here.

Industry is encouraged to read the Rapid Diagnostics report and join our live webinar on 19 July 2021. Submissions for questions and comments can be made to info@fpsc-anz.com.