Part of Thermo Fisher Scientific
19 May 2010
Food microbiologists can now obtain next-day Listeria results with the rapid DuPont Qualicon BAX® System Listeria monocytogenes 24E and BAX System® Genus Listeria 24E assays, that are available from Oxoid in Europe, Australia and Canada. The speed of these assays enables food manufacturers to obtain a “‘yes or no”’ answer before products are released from the factory.
A recent outbreak of Listeriosis in Austria and Germany affected 14 people, four of whom died. When Listeria is discovered in a food or environmental sample after a product leaves the factory, this can lead to costly product recalls and damage the reputation of the company.
EC Regulation 2073 recommends that standard ISO methods are used for the detection of food pathogens such as L. monocytogenes. Although these are robust, proven methods, they can be limited by the number of steps involved and the long time to result. This can be a particular issue for manufacturers of products with short shelf-life or those requiring a confirmed negative result prior to release. Use of an alternative method is only permitted, as outlined in article 5 of the EC regulation, as long as it is certified by a third party in accordance with the protocol set out in EN/ISO standard 16140 or another internationally accepted or similar protocol.
There are now several methods for Listeria and L. monocytogenes that have been certified in accordance with the EC 2073 regulation requirements, giving producers and manufacturers access to simpler, faster alternative methods. However, many of these require two-stage enrichment procedures and/or different protocols for different food types. Some even exclude specific food groups, such as dairy products, from the method completely.
The BAX® System Listeria 24E assays require a single 24-hour enrichment step and have a common extraction protocol for all food types. With a performance comparable to conventional culture methods, these rapid PCR assays detect even low levels of Listeria and have been validated by AFNOR (QUA 18/06-07/08) for all human food products and environmental samples.
Samples are incubated in Oxoid 24 Listeria Enrichment Broth for 24 hours prior to a simple extraction protocol that requires no centrifugation steps. This is followed by analysis and automatic interpretation on the BAX® System.
Cheryl Mooney, industrial product manager, Oxoid, comments, “The BAX® System Listeria 24E assays allow food microbiology laboratories to deliver fast results, which means that it is possible to ensure results are obtained before products leave the factory, thereby preventing the cost and damage of product recalls.”
The BAX® System Listeria monocytogenes 24E and BAX® System Genus Listeria 24E assays are now available alongside the Oxoid range in Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. For further information, please download the datasheet "DuPont Qualicon BAX® System, Food testing that's fast, simple, safe".