Fast E.coli test keeps bad food off shelves
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A new E.coli rapid testing kit developed by researchers at Western University is revolutionizing food safety testing by producing results within hours, not days – and ensuring contaminated food doesn’t make it to the produce aisle of ?your neighbourhood grocery store.

The kit detects E. coli 0157, and has been approved by Health Canada and translated for commercial use. The first production lot of this assay was last summer and this kit is now making its way to food processing plants in North America.

Current food testing methods typically rely on culture, which requires samples to be sent away for testing, with results taking up to two weeks to come back. By that time, the food has often been shipped to market and large recalls have to occur.

The Western-developed kit detects a protein unique to the pathogenic E. coli bacteria, and using flow through technology is able show results in hours rather than days. The process works in much the same way as a pregnancy test – showing one line for negative and two lines for positive.

For more information, visit Western University.

“Our goal is to get the testing to occur as close as possible to the source. This technology is not only faster, but it’s less expensive, it’s easy to use, and it can occur right in the processing plant.”
Dr. Michael Rieder
Professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and scientist at Robarts Research Institute
Western researchers develop rapid test for E coli

A new rapid testing kit developed by researchers at Western University is revolutionizing food safety testing.

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