Quantifying the sensitivity of scent detection dogs to identify fecal contamination on raw produce

Melissa L. Partyka, Ronald F. Bond, Jeff Farrar, Andy Falco, Barbara Cassens, Alonza Cruse, Edward R Atwill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Consumption of raw produce commodities has been associated with foodborne outbreaks in the United States. In a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report outlining the incidence of food-related outbreaks from 1998 to 2008, produce of all kinds were implicated in 46% of illnesses and 23% of deaths. Methods that quickly identify fecal contamination of foods, including produce, will allow prioritization of samples for testing during investigations and perhaps decrease the time required to identify specific brands or lots. We conducted a series of trials to characterize the sensitivity and specificity of scent detection dogs to accurately identify fecal contamination on raw agricultural commodities (romaine lettuce, spinach, cilantro, and roma tomatoes). Both indirect and direct methods of detection were evaluated. For the indirect detection method, two dogs were trained to detect contamination on gauze pads previously exposed to produce contaminated with feces. For the direct detection method, two dogs were trained to identify fecal contamination on fresh produce. The indirect method did not result in acceptable levels of sensitivity except for the highest levels of fecal contamination (25 g of feces). Each dog had more difficulty detecting fecal contamination on cilantro and spinach than on roma tomatoes. For the direct detection method, the dogs exhibited >75% sensitivity for detecting ≥0.25 g of feces on leafy greens (cilantro, romaine lettuce, and spinach) and roma tomatoes, with sensitivity declining as the amount of feces dropped below 0.025 g. We determined that use of a scent detection dog to screen samples for testing can increase the probability of detecting ≥0.025 g of fecal contamination by 500 to 3,000% when samples with fecal contamination are rare (≤1%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-14
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Food Protection
Volume77
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

Fingerprint

fresh produce
Coriandrum
cilantro
odors
Dogs
Roma
Feces
Spinacia oleracea
dogs
Lycopersicon esculentum
feces
spinach
romaine lettuce
Lettuce
tomatoes
Disease Outbreaks
methodology
Food Contamination
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
prioritization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology

Cite this

Quantifying the sensitivity of scent detection dogs to identify fecal contamination on raw produce. / Partyka, Melissa L.; Bond, Ronald F.; Farrar, Jeff; Falco, Andy; Cassens, Barbara; Cruse, Alonza; Atwill, Edward R.

In: Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 77, No. 1, 01.2014, p. 6-14.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Partyka, Melissa L. ; Bond, Ronald F. ; Farrar, Jeff ; Falco, Andy ; Cassens, Barbara ; Cruse, Alonza ; Atwill, Edward R. / Quantifying the sensitivity of scent detection dogs to identify fecal contamination on raw produce. In: Journal of Food Protection. 2014 ; Vol. 77, No. 1. pp. 6-14.
@article{db0245cd9abd42f7b011596e5d800d84,
title = "Quantifying the sensitivity of scent detection dogs to identify fecal contamination on raw produce",
abstract = "Consumption of raw produce commodities has been associated with foodborne outbreaks in the United States. In a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report outlining the incidence of food-related outbreaks from 1998 to 2008, produce of all kinds were implicated in 46{\%} of illnesses and 23{\%} of deaths. Methods that quickly identify fecal contamination of foods, including produce, will allow prioritization of samples for testing during investigations and perhaps decrease the time required to identify specific brands or lots. We conducted a series of trials to characterize the sensitivity and specificity of scent detection dogs to accurately identify fecal contamination on raw agricultural commodities (romaine lettuce, spinach, cilantro, and roma tomatoes). Both indirect and direct methods of detection were evaluated. For the indirect detection method, two dogs were trained to detect contamination on gauze pads previously exposed to produce contaminated with feces. For the direct detection method, two dogs were trained to identify fecal contamination on fresh produce. The indirect method did not result in acceptable levels of sensitivity except for the highest levels of fecal contamination (25 g of feces). Each dog had more difficulty detecting fecal contamination on cilantro and spinach than on roma tomatoes. For the direct detection method, the dogs exhibited >75{\%} sensitivity for detecting ≥0.25 g of feces on leafy greens (cilantro, romaine lettuce, and spinach) and roma tomatoes, with sensitivity declining as the amount of feces dropped below 0.025 g. We determined that use of a scent detection dog to screen samples for testing can increase the probability of detecting ≥0.025 g of fecal contamination by 500 to 3,000{\%} when samples with fecal contamination are rare (≤1{\%}).",
author = "Partyka, {Melissa L.} and Bond, {Ronald F.} and Jeff Farrar and Andy Falco and Barbara Cassens and Alonza Cruse and Atwill, {Edward R}",
year = "2014",
month = "1",
doi = "10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-13-249",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "77",
pages = "6--14",
journal = "Journal of Food Protection",
issn = "0362-028X",
publisher = "International Association for Food Protection",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Quantifying the sensitivity of scent detection dogs to identify fecal contamination on raw produce

AU - Partyka, Melissa L.

AU - Bond, Ronald F.

AU - Farrar, Jeff

AU - Falco, Andy

AU - Cassens, Barbara

AU - Cruse, Alonza

AU - Atwill, Edward R

PY - 2014/1

Y1 - 2014/1

N2 - Consumption of raw produce commodities has been associated with foodborne outbreaks in the United States. In a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report outlining the incidence of food-related outbreaks from 1998 to 2008, produce of all kinds were implicated in 46% of illnesses and 23% of deaths. Methods that quickly identify fecal contamination of foods, including produce, will allow prioritization of samples for testing during investigations and perhaps decrease the time required to identify specific brands or lots. We conducted a series of trials to characterize the sensitivity and specificity of scent detection dogs to accurately identify fecal contamination on raw agricultural commodities (romaine lettuce, spinach, cilantro, and roma tomatoes). Both indirect and direct methods of detection were evaluated. For the indirect detection method, two dogs were trained to detect contamination on gauze pads previously exposed to produce contaminated with feces. For the direct detection method, two dogs were trained to identify fecal contamination on fresh produce. The indirect method did not result in acceptable levels of sensitivity except for the highest levels of fecal contamination (25 g of feces). Each dog had more difficulty detecting fecal contamination on cilantro and spinach than on roma tomatoes. For the direct detection method, the dogs exhibited >75% sensitivity for detecting ≥0.25 g of feces on leafy greens (cilantro, romaine lettuce, and spinach) and roma tomatoes, with sensitivity declining as the amount of feces dropped below 0.025 g. We determined that use of a scent detection dog to screen samples for testing can increase the probability of detecting ≥0.025 g of fecal contamination by 500 to 3,000% when samples with fecal contamination are rare (≤1%).

AB - Consumption of raw produce commodities has been associated with foodborne outbreaks in the United States. In a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report outlining the incidence of food-related outbreaks from 1998 to 2008, produce of all kinds were implicated in 46% of illnesses and 23% of deaths. Methods that quickly identify fecal contamination of foods, including produce, will allow prioritization of samples for testing during investigations and perhaps decrease the time required to identify specific brands or lots. We conducted a series of trials to characterize the sensitivity and specificity of scent detection dogs to accurately identify fecal contamination on raw agricultural commodities (romaine lettuce, spinach, cilantro, and roma tomatoes). Both indirect and direct methods of detection were evaluated. For the indirect detection method, two dogs were trained to detect contamination on gauze pads previously exposed to produce contaminated with feces. For the direct detection method, two dogs were trained to identify fecal contamination on fresh produce. The indirect method did not result in acceptable levels of sensitivity except for the highest levels of fecal contamination (25 g of feces). Each dog had more difficulty detecting fecal contamination on cilantro and spinach than on roma tomatoes. For the direct detection method, the dogs exhibited >75% sensitivity for detecting ≥0.25 g of feces on leafy greens (cilantro, romaine lettuce, and spinach) and roma tomatoes, with sensitivity declining as the amount of feces dropped below 0.025 g. We determined that use of a scent detection dog to screen samples for testing can increase the probability of detecting ≥0.025 g of fecal contamination by 500 to 3,000% when samples with fecal contamination are rare (≤1%).

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84892719446&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84892719446&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-13-249

DO - 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-13-249

M3 - Article

VL - 77

SP - 6

EP - 14

JO - Journal of Food Protection

JF - Journal of Food Protection

SN - 0362-028X

IS - 1

ER -