Dupont Qualicon's BAX system - a genetics-based screening method - has been adopted by the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to detect Salmonella in ready-to-eat meat, poultry and pasteurised eggs.
FSIS adopted the system to screen for Salmonella in these foods after an evaluation determined that the DuPont system was as sensitive as the current method of detecting Salmonella, but reduced reporting time by at least three days.
According to FSIS under secretary for food safety, Dr. Elsa A. Murono: "This new screen test will save valuable agency time and resources that can then be applied in other ways to protect public health."
FSIS has already adopted the system for Listeria monocytogenes and is now evaluating it for detection of Escherichia coli 0157:H7 (E.coli).
"This is great news for the food industry," said Kevin Huttman, president of DuPont Qualicon. "Our customers depend on the BAX system as a cost-effective means to provide fast and reliable results. That's because the system uses DNA molecular biology in an automated, standardised format to quickly and definitively screen for foodborne pathogens."
Salmonella is a serious food pathogen. Although thorough cooking will kill the bacteria, cross-contamination of ready-to-eat foods can occur through contaminated utensils and hands.
Dupont Qualicon claims that its BAX system is a breakthrough genetics-based screening method that detects target bacteria in raw ingredients, finished food products and environmental samples. The automated system, which takes little space and looks like a desktop computer, has been available since November 2000. More than 200 BAX systems are already in use by governments, food companies and laboratories in 30 countries.
In addition, the global diagnostics industry overall totals $27 billion (€24.7bn) annually, with the food diagnostics industry representing more than $1.7 billion.
DuPont Qualicon provides advanced molecular technologies for pathogen screening. Operating in more than 70 countries, the company offers a wide range of products and services to markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.