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New, Fast Test For Listeria U.S. Certified

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., (UPI) — A new test for listeria received certification from the AOAC Research Institute, a U.S. provider and assessor of quality assurance programs, officials say.

The Pall Corp. announced the certification means food companies have an independently validated, extremely fast and easy-to-use food-borne pathogen detection option to help ensure the safety of their products.

Jonathan Pratt, president Pall food and beverage, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported about 1,600 U.S. cases of listeriosis annually, which is caused by listeria monocytogenes, a widely spread bacterial foodborne pathogen. Listeriosis can cause severe illness and even death.

Symptoms can include upset stomach and flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea and vomiting.

U.S. regulatory agencies have a “zero tolerance” policy for listeria monocytogenes contamination of ready-to-eat food products, requesting recall of such products at any detectable level of listeria monocytogenes, Pratt said.

Pall’s Polymerase Chain Reaction-based GeneDisc technology allows multiparametric assays for foodborne pathogen detection.

“The system and test procedure yields consistently repeatable results and virtually eliminates operator error,” Pratt said in a statement. “A unique real time test, the GeneDisc listeria identification plate allows food safety laboratories, for the first time, to have listeria species identification within 1 hour. Routine biochemical tests typically take 24 hours.”

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