DuPont Qualicon BAX System Adopted by USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service to Detect Salmonella in Ready-to-Eat Foods

WILMINGTON, Del. -- The BAX system, a genetics-based screening method developed by DuPont Qualicon, has been adopted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to detect Salmonella in the nation's ready-to-eat meat, poultry and pasteurized eggs.

FSIS adopted the BAX system to screen for Salmonella in these foods after an evaluation determined that the DuPont system was as sensitive as the current method of detecting Salmonella, but reduced reporting time by at least three days. According to FSIS undersecretary for food safety, Dr. Elsa A. Murono, "This new screen test will save valuable agency time and resources that can then be applied in other ways to protect public health."

FSIS already has adopted the BAX system for Listeria monocytogenes and is now evaluating it for detection of Escherichia coli (E.coli) 0157:H7.

"This is great news for the food industry," said Kevin Huttman, president of DuPont Qualicon. "Our customers depend on the BAX system as a cost- effective means to provide fast and reliable results. That's because the BAX system uses DNA molecular biology in an automated, standardized format to quickly and definitively screen for foodborne pathogens."

Salmonella is a serious food pathogen. Although thorough cooking will kill the bacteria, cross-contamination of ready-to-eat foods can occur through contaminated utensils and hands. Each year, approximately 40,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported in the United States. It is estimated that 1,000 people die each year from acute salmonellosis.

The BAX system is a breakthrough genetics-based screening method that detects target bacteria in raw ingredients, finished food products and environmental samples. The automated system, which takes little space and looks like a desktop computer, has been available since November 2000. More than 200 BAX systems already are in use by governments, food companies and laboratories in 30 countries.

In addition, the global diagnostics industry overall totals $27 billion annually, with the food diagnostics industry representing more than $1.7 billion.

DuPont Qualicon provides the most advanced molecular technologies for pathogen screening. In addition to the BAX system, DuPont Qualicon markets the patented RiboPrinter system, the world's only automated DNA fingerprinting instrument that rapidly pinpoints sources of bacteria in pharmaceuticals, personal care products and food.

Source: DuPont