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DuPont Helps Food Industry Comply with New USDA Food Safety Policy

DuPont Qualicon has introduced the BAX® System STEC Suite, a trio of real-time PCR assays that enable food processors, reference labs and government labs to rapidly and reliably detect the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) most frequently associated with severe foodborne illness in the United States. This suite of food safety tests was developed in collaboration with the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA ARS) and is closely aligned with the testing approach used by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS).

The BAX® System screening assay detects a combination of virulence genes – called stx and eae – to quickly and cost effectively clear negative samples in the production line. Two multiplex panel assays can determine which of the top six non-O157 STEC serogroups – O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O145 – are present in positive samples. The USDA has recently declared these pathogenic serogroups as adulterants in non-intact beef, and FSIS will begin enforcing a zero tolerance policy in March 2012.

“The new BAX® System STEC Suite is a great example of how DuPont Qualicon is using science-powered innovation and collaboration to help keep the world’s food supply safer,” said Megan DeStefano, DuPont Qualicon global marketing manager. “With rising concerns about illness linked to E. coli other than O157:H7, the USDA has introduced policies to protect the food supply from these pathogens. The BAX® System STEC Suite gives the food industry powerful tools to help meet this newest challenge effectively and efficiently.”

Food processing companies around the world rely on the BAX® System to detect pathogens or other organisms in raw ingredients, finished products and environmental samples.

The automated system uses leading-edge technology, including polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays, tableted reagents and optimized media to detect Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli, Campylobacter, Vibrio, and more. With certifications and regulatory approvals in the Americas, Asia and Europe, the BAX® system is recognized globally as one of the most advanced pathogen testing system available to food companies. DuPont Qualicon science-based systems for pathogen detection and microbial monitoring, together with Danisco Care4U™ range of natural food protection solutions, help companies protect their products, productivity and brands.

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