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The Evils of False Positives and False Negatives

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In food pathogen testing, a test platform that gives a positive result from screening a sample enrichment provides a presumptive result. Further testing of the suspect enrichment to isolate viable pathogen pure cultures and use of biochemical testing or other methods to confirm presence of pathogen yields a confirmed result. A false negative result occurs when a pathogen is present in the food but the test result shows it is not detected. This can result in contaminated product being shipped and increases the risk of causing a foodborne outbreak. A false positive result occurs when a pathogen is absent in the food but the test result shows it is detected. This can result in pathogen-free product being rejected and costing lost revenue. In this webinar, Dr. Douglas Marshall will cover the many causes and consequences of false positive and false negative pathogen test results and summarize preventative actions that are useful to reduce the incidence of both in laboratory testing. 

Dr. Douglas Marshall is the Chief Scientific Officer for Eurofins Microbiology. He has over 20 years of experience in the food industry and currently holds Adjunct Professor Positions with Colorado State University and Florida State College. Dr. Marshall’s research and expertise have been featured in popular press venues such as USA Today, Chemtech, and Men’s Health. He is a fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), where he has served as chair of two divisions and two regional sections and currently serves on the board of directors.

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