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The FLOQSwabTM is a specimen collection device worldwide recognised for its superior performance in the clinical diagnostics. The aim of this work was to evaluate FLOQSwabTM for the recovery of microbiological samples from surfaces compared to the traditional swab (rayon tipped swab) as per ISO 18593:2004 standard. The FLOQSwabTM, thanks to its innovative manufacturing technology, allows improving the efficiency of recovery and release of analyte. The study has been divided into two experiments. In the first experiment the two swabs were evaluated for their capacity to recover and release the analyte (three different bacterial loads of Escherichia coli). In the second experiment, the two swabs were evaluated for their capacity to recover three different bacterial loads of E. coli from two different surface materials (stainless steel and polypropylene). In all experiments the flocked swab demonstrated a higher recovery rate compared to the traditional rayon tipped swab. The data obtained from this preliminary study demonstrated that the FLOQSwabTM could be a good food surfaces collection device, which improves the recovery of the analyte and thus produces accurate results. Based on the outcomes of the study, a larger field study is in progress using the FLOQSwabTM for samples collection to improve both environmental monitoring and the efficacy of the hygiene controls for food safety.
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