Romer Labs, a leading provider of diagnostic solutions for the agricultural, food and feed industries, is introducing a new pathogen testing system: RapidChek Listeria monocytogenes. AOAC, the independent, third-party organization devoted to evaluating methodology for food microbiology, has certified in its Performance Tested MethodsSM program the testing system for detecting the pathogen on environmental surfaces and ready-to-eat foods, including hot dogs, frozen breaded chicken, frozen cooked shrimp, cured ham and ice cream.
L. monocytogenes is a significant human pathogen that can contaminate, among other foodstuffs, ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and poultry. As with other Listeria species, L. monocytogenes is able to survive and thrive in cool, damp conditions where other bacteria cannot. An aggressive and verifiable sanitation program is therefore necessary to avoid cross-contamination of processing equipment in production plants.
Children and those with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to L. monocytogenes. As a result, the Food and Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) at the USDA maintains a “zero-tolerance” policy for the pathogen in RTE meat and poultry products. The USDA, FDA, EFSA and other national and international regulatory bodies recommend and enforce hygienic measures that call for frequent testing of surfaces in the environment that come into contact with food ingredients as well as finished products.
RapidCheck Listeria monocytogenes is designed to meet this diagnostic need and provides results days faster than ISO, USDA and FDA methods. It combines a sensitive immuno-detection strip with a single proprietary enrichment media. After enrichment, highly sensitive and specific strips indicate the presence of L. monocytogenes in only 10 minutes.