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, December 18, 2006

Health Canada Validates DuPont™ BAX® System for Detecting E. coli O157:H7 in Fruits, Vegetables, Dairy and Other Foods

Health Canada, the federal agency that oversees food safety in Canada, has validated protocols for using the BAX® system from DuPont Qualicon to detect E. coli O157:H7 in fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, animal feed, environmental samples and dry products.   This recent approval supplements prior validation of the BAX® system for detecting the pathogen in ground beef and beef trim.

“We are working closely with food companies around the world to help them ensure they deliver foods that are safe,” said Kevin Huttman, DuPont Qualicon president.   “With this latest approval from Health Canada, packers, processors and service labs now have a validated BAX® system protocol to help them deal with the relatively new problem of pathogenic E. coli in fruits and vegetables.”

In 2004, the BAX® system was certified by the AOAC Research Institute as a Performance-TestedSM method for detecting E. coli O157:H7 in raw beef, apple cider and orange juice.  Last year, the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service adopted the BAX® system for E. coli O157:H7 screening in raw ground beef and beef trim.  With the recent outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 in spinach and green onions, DuPont Qualicon has been working with customers to develop protocols that are equally effective at detecting the pathogen in fresh produce.

Laboratories at Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) tested several sample preparation protocols on various food types for use with the BAX® system.  Although BAX® system MP media remains an appropriate enrichment broth for beef, the labs determined that modified Tryptic Soy Broth with novobiocin (mTSB-n) should be used for dairy, meat, fruit and vegetables.  For dry foods and environmentals, Buffered Peptone Water is recommended to reconstitute and equilibrate samples prior to adding mTSB-n.  Details on the protocols can be found at the Health Canada website as Supplement 2 to MFLP-30.

DuPont Qualicon provides innovative, science-based diagnostic products.  The BAX® system offers advanced DNA-based detection of microbes in food, from raw ingredients to finished products.  BAX® system MP enrichment medium is available in bulk powder or as unit-sized DuPont™ StatMedia™ soluble packets.  DuPont Qualicon also 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.  For more information, please see http://www.qualicon.com.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company.  Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere.  Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.