Dietz & Watson is a household name in deli meats, with more than 400 products in supermarkets and delis throughout the United States. For more than 75 years, Dietz & Watson has been a family-owned and -operated business with a focus on providing the highest quality deli meats and artisan cheeses. Committed to providing products that are “good and good for you,” the Dietz & Watson food-safety and quality-control initiative is a critical component.

Problem: Testing and removal of environmental Listeriais a critical component in ensuring the safety of ready-to-eat meats. Previously, Dietz & Watson was dependent on a third-party lab for environmental pathogen testing. Traditional testing measures demanded lengthy enrichment cycles, as well as complex processing that could not be safely and reliably completed in the plant. The delay in results meant that in the event of a positive test result, a few days and a few cleaning cycles had gone by before the company had results.

Solution: Dietz & Watson adopted Sample6 DETECT/L. Recently introduced to the food industry, this diagnostic for environmental Listeria does not require enrichment and can be completed in only seven hours.

“We were eager to adopt the fastest pathogen test available as part of our deep commitment to make the best quality, safest food on the market and continue our history of innovation,” noted Bob Seaver, director of quality control.

Results: After a two-day training session, all Listeria testing is now conducted on site with Sample6 DETECT/L. Dietz & Watson now has better control of its food safety at the plant level. The company tests samples and gets results in hours, meaning everything happens within the same production shift — it can test, find and remediate the pathogen before any product leaves the plant. Rapid detection also means timely cleanup and significantly lowers the chance of recalls.

Carla Mulhern, Dietz & Watson microbiologist, added, “I love Sample6. I don’t miss making media, autoclaving it, running control positives, negatives and sterility controls on all medias/broths. The best part is getting results so much faster, and the test is so easy that no scientific background is needed to run the tests effectively.”


Carla Mulhern, microbiologist for Dietz & Watson, tests samples on site.