Lab Matters Summer 2018 - Page 57

APHL 2018 Annual Meeting Poster Abstracts number of days in transport after sample collection. Low rates of ETEC-positive CIDT samples confirmed by PCR and culture suggests the likelihood of false positive results by CIDTs. This study highlights the importance of receiving fecal samples soon after detection and the need for public health laboratories to confirm the presence of ETEC in CIDT-positive samples to conduct surveillance and outbreak investigations. Presenter: Randal Fowler, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, Phone: 303.345.1159, Email: randy.fowler@state.mn.us Random Sampling Versus Blending: Improving Pathogen Detection in Food Samples N. Mitchell, P. Hanson and P. Lewandowski, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Tallahassee, FL Introduction: Improving food sampling techniques continues to be one of the biggest priorities in the food safety industry. To ensure the most sensitive and accurate pathogen detection analyses are performed on food commodities, homogenization of samples is critical. Microbial contamination of food can be localized in “hot spots,” creating the potential for pathogens to go undetected through traditional sampling techniques. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare random sampling vs. sample blending for improved pathogen detection. Results: Results demonstrate that improving sampling practices by using blenders and other homogenization tools to test an entire sample enhances pathogen detection in food especially in commodities such as frozen vegetables and deli meat. Presenter: Nicole Mitchell, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Tallahassee, FL, Email: nicole.mitchell@freshfromflorida.com Walking In Each Other’s Shoes: The Importance of Building Relationships between Epi and Lab J. Yeadon-Fagbohun, Indiana State Department of Health, Indianapolis, IN Background: Laboratorians and epidemiologists must work closely together in public health. Their jobs are interdependent and a strong relationship makes everyone’s job easier. This can be difficult, especially if the two groups are not in the same location. ISDH recognized that the silo approach resulted in communication issues and poor relationship. For the laboratory, this included a lack of inclusion in outbreak discussions and receiving timely notification to expect specimens. For epidemiology, this included lab results reported that were confusing and not knowing the turnaround time needed for laboratory testing. Communications need to be improved PublicHealthLabs @APHL APHL.org Methods: The Enteric laboratory approached the epidemiologists about a job shadowing day. The epidemiologists spent half of a day in the laboratory to see an overview of the enteric lab, including both traditional bacteriology and molecular methods plus PulseNet methods. Time was also spent on the cluster detection, reporting and interacting with submitters. The laboratory supervisor then spent half a day at the Epidemiology Resource Center (ERC) to learn about ERC programs, case investigation, reporting and other aspects of the ERC team’s job roles. In addition to this shadowing, a biweekly meeting was created to discuss ongoing cases, outbreaks, changing needs, etc. This meeting is held using the help of technology, such as teleconference or webinar platforms, that allow parties to see each other or share computer screens, which facilitates a better understanding of the discussions. Results: The time spent shadowing has increased the level of understanding and appreciation by both the laboratory and epidemiology. This has allowed for discussions to be more productive and to dig into the details further when discussing outbreaks and sampling. Holding regularly scheduled meetings has allowed for in-depth discussions about what is going on within the State of Indiana when it comes to foodborne outbreaks. By using programs that allow us to either visually see each other or to share screens, we also are able to reduce misunderstandings and communication gaps. Conclusions: The implementation of these practices between the laboratorians and epidemiologists in the Enteric division has allowed for an improved relationship. There is a deeper level of understanding on both sides, which has built trust and promoted collaborations. In addition, discussions about specimen collection and testing algorithms have helped to improve outbreak response and detection. Methods: The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Bureau of Food Laboratories investigated a best sampling practices comparison; the commonly used random sampling technique versus blending the remaining sample. The study’s targeted pathogenic analyses (Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli and Staphylo