The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is adopting the BAX® system to screen meat and poultry samples for Listeria monocytogenes. The system reduces the reporting time for a negative Listeria monocytogenes test by one day and reduces false positive results.

“This is a good example of how FSIS is using new technology to improve efficiency,” said Bill Hudnall, acting FSIS administrator. “FSIS can reduce the time that it takes to notify meat and poultry producers of a negative result, and fewer false positives will help to reduce agency resources used to confirm positive screen tests.”

The BAX system was evaluated at the FSIS Microbial Outbreaks and Special Projects Branch (MOSPB) laboratory in Athens, Ga. After the MOSPB evaluation, the eastern field service laboratory in Athens, Ga., screened approximately 830 random samples for Listeria monocytogenes using both the BAX and the Fraser broth method. Each sample was put through the Fraser broth screening analysis, and a portion of the enrichment broth was used to conduct the BAX test.

The agency will use BAX to screen meat and poultry samples for Listeria in field offices in Altanta, St Louis and Alameda, CA. FSIS is planning to evaluate the BAX system to screen samples for E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella in the next few months.

DuPont Qualicon developed the genetics-based screening method.

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