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Life Technologies collaborates with USDA to develop same-day, multi-strain E. coli detection system

November 26, 2012
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Life Technologies Corp. has received a Letter of No Objection from the U.S. Department of Agriculture -- Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) for its RapidFinder STEC (Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli) Detection system.  Developed in collaboration with the USDA, the solution provides meat producers a new, validated solution that accurately detects the presence of multiple strains of E. coli in raw beef in just 10 hours.

The Letter of No Objection supports the test’s effectiveness and allows companies to comply with the USDA’s regulation standards. The RapidFinder system’s quick turnaround time to achieve accurate results reduces the standard six-day process established by the USDA Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook (MLG).  While the MLG method provides confident results and isolation of E. coli, the traditional process is time consuming, labor intensive and requires too many reagents, all of which drive up cost. 

“The more strains of E. coli that meat producers can quickly and accurately analyze, the more likely they can ensure that beef is safe for public consumption,” said Nir Nimrodi, Vice President and General Manager of Food Safety and Animal Health at Life Technologies. “The success of RapidFinder STEC is partially attributed to the large pool of leading customers who served as beta testers and with whom we also collaborated on this product. The USDA’s Letter of No Objection further validates our solution’s ability to satisfy the unique safety and business requirements within the meat industry.”

RapidFinder significantly reduces the rate of false negative and false positive results, hurdles that can delay safe beef products from arriving to market. The system has also been designed to integrate seamlessly within existing testing programs, resulting in improved efficiency, productivity and cost savings.

Life Technologies collaborated with the USDA to develop a test to detect the presence of E. coli O157:H7, and later expanded the project to include the “Big 6” non-O157 strains (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145), which cause about 70 percent of non-O157 infection.

The validated system is capable of clearing negative beef samples (375 grams), and indentifying presumptive positives in the same sample run with an additional hour of testing.  Its sensitivity provides greater confidence in the results since the solution can detect as little as 1 to 5 colony-forming units of pathogenic STEC in a single sample.

Life Technologies collaborated with the USDA to develop and validate RapidFinder and utilized Life’s core competencies in DNA sample preparation, real-time PCR assay formats design, DNA sequencing and data interpretation.

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