Part of Thermo Fisher Scientific
01 February 2003
Automated system to detect E.coli O157:H7
in meat and poultry
In July 2002, 19 million pounds of ground beef products were recalled in the USA1 (the second largest meat recall in US history) and in September 2002, Dr. Elsa Murano , Under Secretary for Food Safety at the Food Safety and Inspection Service ( FSIS ) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture ( USDA ), stated that “the scientific data show that E. coli 0157:H7 is more prevalent than previously estimated.”2
The USDA has stated2 that it will “require beef slaughter and grinding plants to acknowledge that E. coli 0157:H7 is a hazard reasonably likely to occur in their operations, unless they can prove otherwise” and require “plants to perform a comprehensive re-examination of their food safety systems and include a step to eliminate or reduce the risk of E. coli 0157:H7 in their product”. They will also “eliminate current exemptions from FSIS microbiological testing” which will result in random testing of all beef grinding operations by FSIS personnel.
Slaughter and grinding plants worldwide may soon be required by their governments to undertake similar measures.
The FSIS currently uses the DuPont Qualicon BAX® system for routine screening for Listeria monocytogenes and is now planning to evaluate the same system to screen samples for E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella . The BAX® system was chosen by FSIS as its PCR -based technology reduces the time taken to notify meat and poultry producers of a negative result (results on prepared samples are available within 4 hours of starting the assay) and fewer false positives are returned.
The BAX® system is a product of DuPont Qualicon, USA and is now available from Oxoid in Europe and Australia.
For more information please contact Laura Ward at Oxoid Ltd, t: +44 (0) 1256 841144, f: +44 (0) 1256 329728, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Oxoid website: www.oxoid.com
1 www.foodhaccp.com 23 July 2002
2 USDA News Release no 0405.02, 24 September 2002