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AOAC Validates Life Tech Salmonella Test Kit for Environmental Surfaces

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Life Technologies said this week that the Association of Analytical Communities Research Institute has increased the scope of approval for Life Tech's PCR-based Salmonella detection kit.

Specifically, the AOAC Research Institute has extended approval for the Applied Biosystems MicroSEQ Salmonella spp. detection kit for use on environmental surfaces at processing plants where food products are handled and packaged.

Last March, the AOAC Research Institute validated the MicroSEQ Salmonella spp. detection kit for low- and high-throughput testing in 11 different food sample types, including raw ground beef, chicken, shrimp, dry pet food, spinach, and peanut butter (PCR Insider, 3/23/10).

The new approval extension means that the kit is now certified for use on environmental surfaces such as stainless steel, plastic, ceramic tile, and rubber, Life Tech said.

"Testing of the food plant environment is equally, if not more, important as testing the products themselves to ensure the safety of our food supply," Sharon Brunelle, a technical consultant for the AOAC Research Institute, said in a statement.

The MicroSEQ detection kit uses fast real-time PCR in a lyophilized format that reduces handling of samples and chances of contamination, according to Life Tech. The kit is optimized for use with the Applied Biosystems 7500 Fast Real-Time PCR system; and the workflow requires small amounts of sample and ensures detection of Salmonella in less than 18 hours, as compared to several days with conventional methods.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are at least 40,000 cases of Salmonella poisoning each year in the US. The bacterium can contaminate a wide variety of foods both during and after processing.

In addition, Life Tech noted that the Food Safety Modernization Act passed by Congress on Dec. 21 calls for federal regulators to implement prevention-based controls, rather than responding to contaminations.

"With US legislation now focused on preventing outbreaks rather than simply detecting foodborne pathogens that cause them, our universal molecular solution enables food producers to proactively monitor their facilities before Salmonella contaminates their products," Nir Nimrodi, general manager of the Animal and Food Safety Business for Life Technologies, said in a statement.

Life Tech has been active recently in the food testing market. Earlier this month, the company launched a real-time PCR-based detection kit to test for Salmonella enteritidis in poultry eggs in the wake of an outbreak last summer that sickened at least 2,000 people and prompted the recall of more than 550 million eggs (PCR Insider, 1/13/11).

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