AOAC-RI validated the assay as equivalent to the reference culture method for detecting non-O157:H7 shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) with faster time to results.
The screening assay detects the combination of STEC virulence genes (stx and eae) to clear negatives and enrichment time is nine to 12 hours depending on food type, sample volume and enrichment media.
Flour validation was to help US and Canadian producers avoid contamination issues that have persisted in flour, cake and pancake mixes and raw dough since 2009.
The real-time PCR assay could rapidly detect STEC in flour samples that are challenging because of their dryness.
The 25g ground beef validation was to support European beef producers needing an accredited method for detection of STEC.
Hygiena’s BAX System Real-Time PCR Assay Suite for STEC validation in 25g ground beef samples was shown to provide reliable results within a workday supplying information on pathogen presence.
Dr Martin Easter, chief scientific officer of Hygiena, said: “These methods are important tools to help reduce the occurrence of recent and serious outbreaks in these products.”