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USDA Gives Life Tech's E. Coli Detection System Thumbs Up

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Life Technologies said today it received a Letter of No Objection from the US Department of Agriculture-Food Safety and Inspection Service for the firm's RapidFinder Shiga-toxin producing Escheria coli (STEC) Detection system.

The letter supports the test's effectiveness, Life Tech said. RapidFinder was developed in collaboration with USDA and provides a new validated solution to meat producers for accurately detecting multiple strains of E. coli in raw beef in 10 hours. The solution leverages Life Technologies's capabilities in DNA sample preparation, real-time PCR assay design, DNA sequencing, and data interpretation to reduce the rate of false positives and false negatives. RapidFinder can also be integrated easily within existing programs for better efficiency, productivity, and cost savings, said Life Tech.

"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," Nir Nimrodi, vice president and GM of Food Safety and Animal Health at Life Technologies, said in a statement. "The success of RapidFinder STEC is partially attributed to the large pool of leading customers who served as beta testers and with whom we also collaborated on this product. The USDA's Letter of No Objection further validates our solution's ability to satisfy the unique safety and business requirements within the meat industry."

The firm and USDA partnered on the development of the system for detecting E. coli O157:H7. They then expanded the project to include the non-O157 strains (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145), which cause about 70 percent of non-O157 infection.

The RapidFinder STEC platform is for testing of food and environmental samples.