Shigella spp are not indigenous to any food. Contamination of foods is primarily due to the poor personal hygiene of food handlers. Foods commonly found to be associated with food borne outbreaks caused by this organism are potato salads, chicken and shellfish. Establishments identified as outbreak sources include: homes, schools, restaurants, airlines, schools, nursing homes and military mess halls. Since Shigella and E. coli are closely related genetically, the discrimination of these microbes is essential for proper identification. Application of DNA-based assays such as PCR is useful in the accurate detection of the presence of Shigella spp in foods.
50g minimum sample is recommended. Environmental surface samples can also be analyzed.
EMSL Test Code: F122
Sample retention time – 30 days, unless highly perishable