Rapid testing ground

By Allison Bardic, Senior Editor
Fast and accurate testing and analyzing of products take the guesswork out
of meat and poultry processing.
True, everyone knows processors can't test safety into their meat and poultry products, but pathogen detection nonetheless remains a critical component of their food-safety programs.
Among the most sought-after testing system attributes are simplicity, accuracy, speed, cost efficiency, and multiple formats. Wilmington, DE-based DuPont Qualicon's BAX® detection system, for example, is a fast and accurate test for screening food and environmental samples for pathogens or other organisms by breaking down samples at the genetic level, using the power of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect bacteria. Assays are available for detecting E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, or L. monocytogenes in raw and processed meat and poultry.
When used with proprietary BAX® system media for E. coli O157:H7, enrichment time for raw ground beef samples is reduced to just eight hours.
St. Paul, MN-based 3M Micro­biology's 3M™ Petrifilm™ Plate Reader (PPR), provides consistent automated reading and recording of results of 3M™ Petrifilm Plates in only four seconds. The PPR is designed to read 3M™ Petrifilm™ Aerobic Count, Coliform Count, and E. coli/Coliform Count Plates.
Canada's Warnex Inc. recently secured its first U.S. customer for Genevision™ technology, which detects and identifies microorganisms rapidly and specifically by taking advantage of their unique DNA signature through the use of proprietary DNA markers. The detection process can be applied to a wide array of products ranging from the environment (air and water) to agri-foods and pharmaceutical.
Lansing, MI-based Neogen Corp., which in 2002 launched the first rapid, easy-to-use tests to detect ruminant byproducts in meat and bone meal and finished animal feed to stem the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), offers the AOAC-approved Reveal® for E. coli O157:H7 test system. The company's proprietary media allows users to screen samples for the pathogen in as little as eight hours.
Neogen's GENE-TRAK® DNA probe technology is a microwell test system that allows for the rapid and accurate processing of samples for E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria, and Listeria monocytogenes.
Bellevue, WA-based BioControl Systems Inc. says it offers more AOAC-validated testing methods for pathogens than any other test supplier, including such tests as the VIP® for Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli O157:H7, the 1-2 test for Salmonella, and Assurance® EIAs for Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli O157:H7. BioControl's other products are Listeria environmental monitoring tests, SimPlate®, a faster test for routine monitoring of Coliforms/E. coli and TPC, and the LIGHTNING MVP™ for ATP, pH, and temperature monitoring.
BioControl's tests also offer advantages in time savings and ease-of-use. The VIP® Test is an easy-to-use, lateral flow test that offers results in 10 minutes after enrichment. The Assurance® Listeria EIA offers a high throughput and familiar format. BioControl's SimPlate® is an innovative plating method for Total Plate Counts, Coliforms/E.coli, yeast and mold, and Campylobacter. It uses a patented device and proprietary media that provide results days faster than other plate and film methods.