A review of rapid food safety testing: using lateral flow assay platform to detect foodborne pathogens

Nadin Younes, Hadi M. Yassine, Katerina Kourentzi, Patrick Tang, Dmitri Litvinov, Richard C. Willson, Laith J. Abu-Raddad, Gheyath K. Nasrallah

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The detrimental impact of foodborne pathogens on human health makes food safety a major concern at all levels of production. Conventional methods to detect foodborne pathogens, such as live culture, high-performance liquid chromatography, and molecular techniques, are relatively tedious, time-consuming, laborious, and expensive, which hinders their use for on-site applications. Recurrent outbreaks of foodborne illness have heightened the demand for rapid and simple technologies for detection of foodborne pathogens. Recently, Lateral flow assays (LFA) have drawn attention because of their ability to detect pathogens rapidly, cheaply, and on-site. Here, we reviewed the latest developments in LFAs to detect various foodborne pathogens in food samples, giving special attention to how reporters and labels have improved LFA performance. We also discussed different approaches to improve LFA sensitivity and specificity. Most importantly, due to the lack of studies on LFAs for the detection of viral foodborne pathogens in food samples, we summarized our recent research on developing LFAs for the detection of viral foodborne pathogens. Finally, we highlighted the main challenges for further development of LFA platforms. In summary, with continuing improvements, LFAs may soon offer excellent performance at point-of-care that is competitive with laboratory techniques while retaining a rapid format.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • food safety
  • foodborne pathogens
  • lateral flow assay
  • LFA
  • sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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