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WILMINGTON, Del. -- The BAX system, a genetics-based diagnostic tool from DuPont Qualicon, has been adopted by AOAC International as an official method for detecting Listeria monocytogenes in food. This follows a similar action in July, when AOAC approved the BAX system as an official method for detecting Salmonella.
AOAC International is a worldwide provider and facilitator in the development, use and harmonization of validated analytical methods. AOAC Official Methods are cited in the U.S. code of federal regulations and adopted by standards organizations around the world. The Official Methods program (OMA) provides for multi-laboratory validation of a method where the highest degree of confidence in performance is required to generate credible, defensible and reproducible results. The BAX system for detecting Listeria monocytogenes was successfully validated and has been assigned AOAC Official Method 2003.12.
"This esteemed recognition reinforces the confident results that food companies around the world have come to expect with the BAX system," said Kevin Huttman, president of DuPont Qualicon. "As an AOAC Official Method, the BAX system continues its advance as the best available science-based tool of choice in food safety and brand protection programs."
Listeria monocytogenes is a harmful species of bacteria present in the environment and carried in healthy animals. The pathogen has been found in raw foods, such as unwashed vegetables and uncooked meats, as well as ready- to-eat foods that become contaminated after processing, especially deli meats and soft cheeses. Listeria monocytogenes spreads very easily by direct contact and, unlike most other bacteria, can grow slowly at refrigerated temperatures.
Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a potentially fatal disease in newborns, the elderly and persons with weakened immune systems. Pregnant women have an increased susceptibility to listeriosis, which can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Listeria monocytogenes causes about 2,500 cases of listeriosis annually in the U.S., with a 20 percent fatality rate.
The BAX system uses advanced molecular technology to detect target bacteria in raw ingredients, finished food products and environmental samples. In addition to Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella, assays are also available for E.coli O157:H7, Genus Listeria and Enterobacter sakazakii. The automated system is user friendly and fits easily onto a laboratory bench top. Available since November 2000, hundreds of BAX systems are already in use by governments, food companies and laboratories around the world.
In addition to the BAX system, DuPont Qualicon markets the patented RiboPrinter system, the only automated DNA fingerprinting instrument that rapidly pinpoints sources of bacteria in pharmaceuticals, personal care products and food.