Food Engineering

Practical test for E. coli serogroups

November 16, 2011
The BAX system is an automated PCR-based method for detecting a broad range of pathogens in food and environmental samples. Source: DuPont.

This test can find non-O157 STEC serogroups-O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145

DuPont Qualicon has released a trio of real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) assays that enable food processors, reference labs and government labs to rapidly and reliably detect the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) most frequently associated with severe foodborne illness in the US.

The suite of food safety tests, the BAX System STEC Suite, was developed in collaboration with the Agricultural Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA ARS) and is closely aligned with the testing approach used by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS).

The screening assay detects a combination of virulence genes-called stx and eae-to quickly clear negative samples in the production line. Two multiplex panel assays can determine which of the top six non-O157 STEC serogroups-O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O145-are present in positive samples. The USDA recently declared these pathogenic serogroups as adulterants in non-intact beef, and FSIS will begin enforcing a zero tolerance policy in March 2012.

The automated system uses PCR assays, tableted reagents and optimized media to detect Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli, Campylobacter, Vibrio and more. The system has certifications and regulatory approvals in the Americas, Asia and Europe. For more information, visit www.qualicon.com.