A symposium at the 1980 Annual Meeting of IAMFES permitted manufacturers to explain their diagnostic kits and food microbiologists to relate their experiences with the kits. Discussions between manufacturers and users resulted in the identification of means for improving systems used to rapidly identify pathogens and nonpathogens in foods. The general conclusions reached were: (a) food microbiologists continue to seek rapid methods to identify isolates from foods, and commercial diagnostic kits are valuable for this purpose, (b) current identification methods established by diagnostic kit manufacturers, although useful for clinical isolates, need improvements when applied to food isolates, (c) the ideal situation would be for manufacturers to generate specific identification methods for food isolates, (d) comparative analytical studies should be made before adapting commercial systems to routine use and (e) under special conditions, researchers can expand the use of existing diagnostic kits to purposes not originally envisioned by the manufacturers.

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Author notes

1Contribution No. 81-229-J Department of Animal Sciences and Industry. Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station, Manhattan 66505. Mention of specific brand names does not imply endorsement by the authors or institution at which they are employed to the exclusion of others not mentioned.

2Kansas State University.

3Russell Agricultural Research Center.