MVTL now offers the VIDAS® Staph enterotoxin II
MVTL now offers the VIDAS® Staph enterotoxin II test which is an enzyme linked fluorescent immunoassay (ELFA) used for the detection of Staphylococcus enterotoxins (SET) A, B, C1, C2, C3, D and E. The method reference is AOAC 2007.06. The reporting limit for this method is <1 ng SET/ml.
Staphylococcus aureus, when present at greater than 100,000 CFU per gram can produce enough enterotoxin to cause illness. Levels of less than 1.0 microgram can cause illness. These enterotoxins are highly heat stable.
The Staphylococcus aureus organism is easily killed by heat treatment and most cleaning agents combined with sanitizers. Because humans are carriers of S. aureus on skin and in nasal passages, post processing contamination can occur if foods are exposed to human contact after a processing step.
Interpretation of results from samples tested for Staphylococcus aureus can be tricky. A high count of S. aureus does not necessarily mean the product contains toxins. It must be proven that the S. aureus isolated produces enterotoxins. An additional concern with just testing for bacterial levels is that a low level of S. aureus detected in a product may reflect only a portion of the surviving population that was previously high enough to produce toxins.
To learn more about Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus enterotoxin go to the FDA Bag Bugs web site.