Competitive Graduate Student Assistantship Program

Food safety/food microbiology
Ensuring the Safety of New Mexico Green Chile Using Molecular Detection of Salmonella enterica

Project Leader: Willis Fedio, Director/Research Associate Professor
Food Safety Laboratory
Center for Animal Health and Food Safety
New Mexico State University

Student: Sara Rhiannon Gonzales
Department: Family and Consumer Sciences

Salmonella enterica has been isolated from chile products and is known to be able to persist in food processing facilities. We intend to evaluate the Neogen ANSR (Amplified Nucleic Single temperature Reaction) assay for Salmonella against the cultural procedure used by the FDA (with both real-time PCR and Enzyme Linked Immunofluorescent screening) in green chile artificially contaminated with Salmonella. Environmental swabs from green chile processors will also be examined by ANSR and FDA methods. The research could provide New Mexico Chile Processors with a new tool for monitoring their products for pathogenic bacteria and lead to considerable savings for testing these samples.