Life Technologies Corporation has developed a same-day solution for detecting multiple strains of E.coli in ground beef.
The solution tests for strains of Shiga-toxin producing E.coli (STEC), which is a bacteria found in undercooked beef.
Life Technologies said they have been working with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to validate assay designs against pathogenic and non-pathogenic STECs of various o-group and origin.
The result is highly-specific, single-target PCR assays which can be multiplexed to provide high levels of accuracy for a high-throughput screening assay.
Same day results
They claim it detects one to 5cfu of pathogenic STEC, with proprietary assay designs that lower chances for false positives and eliminate false negatives and offer clearance of 375g of ground beef and beef trim samples in 10 hours.
Meat producers require a faster and simpler method to detect multiple STEC strains, which can include the O157:H7 serotype and more than 100 non-O157 strains, said Life Technologies.
The current six-day process is too long, requires too many reagents, and significant technician training and processing, all of which drives up cost, they added.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires testing for the so-called “big six” non-O157 strains (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145).
The “big six” cause about 70% of non-O157 infection, leading to the need to develop new forms of testing and analytical methods.
The USDA Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook(MLG) is the current method recommended by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) for the testing and isolation of STEC’s in ground beef and beef trim.
“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, and poses no threat of illnesses caused by foodborne bacterium,” said Nir Nimrodi, vice president and general manager of food safety and animal health at Life Technologies.