Award winning device detects salmonella in 24-48 hours

3M Petrifilm Salmonella Express System (SALX)
3M Petrifilm Salmonella Express System (SALX)

3M received the silver honor in the International Edison Award in May in San Francisco for its Petrifilm Salmonella Express System (SALX) that has revolutionized the process of detecting Salmonella with a faster, cheaper system.

The process of detecting salmonella in food normally takes 5-7 days to culture and test the bacteria in a petri dish has now become a one-step process that has upgraded the traditional test and enabled medical professionals to act more instantaneously on medical cases.

Traditionally, colonies of bacteria are isolated and transferred to separate agar disks to be tested for Salmonella. Disks are stored in shelves and sent to biochemical labs for confirmation.

The “Petrifilm Salmonella Express System (SALX)” is an all-in-one method that is twice as fast as the traditional test. It makes use of a single Petrifilm disk that can biochemically confirm Salmonella in enriched food and food process environment samples. There will be no need to store multiple disks or to wait for lab results.

This new system detects Salmonella in as little as 44 hours. From the excerpt:


The 3M Petrifilm Salmonella Express System provides qualitative detection and biochemical confirmation of Salmonella in enriched food and food process environmental samples. It eliminates agar methods and gives you biochemical confirmation in as little as 44 hours—2X faster than traditional agar—with no special equipment.

According to the International Association for Food Protection, the SALX System is designed for rapid detection of Salmonella in food, feed and food process environmental samples after 18-24 hours of enrichment. The assay plate is a chromogenic culture medium system that contains a cold water-soluble gelling agent and is selective and differential for Salmonella.

An internal evaluation was conducted to compare the new method versus the following reference methods:

  • FDA/BAM for frozen uncooked shrimp, fresh spinach, dry dog food and stainless steel
  • USDA/FSIS-MLG method for raw ground chicken, pasteurized liquid whole egg, raw ground beef, raw ground pork and cooked chicken nuggets
  • ISO 6579 method for raw ground chicken and liquid whole egg

The result show no significant differences between SALX and the reference methods.


Salmonellosis is caused by the Salmonella enterica bacterium which causes food poisoning whose symptoms include diahrrea, fever, dehydration, abdominal cramps and in extreme cases, death.


A person can get salmonella by eating contaminated food that has not been completely cooked or has been contaminated after preparation and sometimes even when it has been improperly stored.

The Philippine government has reacted to the threat of public health caused by salmonella and other foodborne diseases by passing the Food Safety Act 2013 (RA 10611) to “protect the public from food-borne and water-borne illnesses and unsanitary, unwholesome, misbranded or adulterated foods”.

In compliance with this law, food institutions must now abide by strict guidelines that ensure the safety of their products and protect the health of their consumers.

Food processing companies worldwide have already adapted 3M’s SALX for its scientific and economic benefits. 3M received the silver honor in the Edison Awards held in Minnesota, USA for the medical detection category.


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