Food Safety

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), was signed into law on January 4, 2011. The aim is to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it. Man's best friend can play a role in this goal!

Fecal Contamination in Produce

Produce contaminated with fecal matter is increasingly recognized as a vehicle by which food born pathogens such as E. Coli, Salmonella and Listeria are transmitted. The Western Institute for Food Safety and Security and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration underwent a research project to assess the canine's ability to detect fecal matter on produce. The results were outstanding (see below) and published in the Journal of Food Protection in 2014.


Our company is now taking this proven effective tool, the canine olfactory system, to the produce industry. Additionally, we are working with food safety certifying bodies to determine what will need to be done to ensure the presence of working canines will not be considered introducing further risk of contamination.  Our dogs can tell a grower, packer, or produce processing facility if there is fecal contamination before harvest.

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What The Research Suggests

Scent detection dogs, if appropriately trained, can detect relatively small amounts of fecal contamination in produce samples, while generating relatively few false positive alerts.

PARTYKA, M.L., BOND, R.F., FARRAR, J., FALCO, A., CASSENS, B., CRUSE, A, AND ATWILL, E.R., (2014). Quantifying the Sensitivity of Scent Detection Dogs To Identify Fecal Contamination on Raw Produce. Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 77, No. 1, 2014, Pages 6–14. 

Research Results

We determined that use of a scent detection dog to screen samples for testing can increase the probability of detecting >0.025 grams of fecal contamination by 500 to 3,000% when samples with fecal contamination are rare (<1%).

PARTYKA, M.L., BOND, R.F., FARRAR, J., FALCO, A., CASSENS, B., CRUSE, A, AND ATWILL, E.R., (2014). Quantifying the Sensitivity of Scent Detection Dogs To Identify Fecal Contamination on Raw Produce. Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 77, No. 1, 2014, Pages 6–14. 

Research Conclusion

Scent detection dogs appear capable of directly detecting low levels of fecal contamination on romaine lettuce, cilantro, spinach, and roma tomatoes and thereby elevate the probability that an investigator, grower, or processor can successfully detect produce samples with fecal contamination before harvest.

PARTYKA, M.L., BOND, R.F., FARRAR, J., FALCO, A., CASSENS, B., CRUSE, A, AND ATWILL, E.R., (2014). Quantifying the Sensitivity of Scent Detection Dogs To Identify Fecal Contamination on Raw Produce. Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 77, No. 1, 2014, Pages 6–14. 

Full Published Article on Research Gate

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Canine Clean Room Suit

This canine bio-suit is designed and patented by Industrial Safety Professionals, Inc.  We are delighted to have an agreement to utilize their canine-suit technology on our dogs working in food safety detection if required.

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Click To Watch A Video Of A Detection Canine Working In This Suit!

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