Life Technologies, a provider of innovative life science solutions, announced at the International Association of Food Protection annual meeting the launch of the MicroSEQ(R) E. coli O157:H7 assay, designed to detect the deadly strain of Escherichia coli (E. coli), using the company’s industry-leading real-time PCR technology.

Life Technologies Corporation is a global biotechnology tools company dedicated to improving the human condition. Life Technologies customers do their work across the biological spectrum, working to advance personalized medicine, regenerative science, molecular diagnostics, agricultural and environmental research, and 21st century forensics.

Market Watch reported that Life Technologies also announced that the assay has secured Performance Tested Methods(SM) certification from the AOAC Research Institute for detection of E. coli O157:H7. The new product will enable more effective monitoring of the food supply for contamination and help ensure food safety.

E. coli O157:H7 can cause severe illness, even death and has been responsible for significant outbreaks of food poisoning across the globe. Culture-based assays, long considered the gold standard for pathogen detection, can take up to five days to yield results. The MicroSEQ E. coli O157:H7 detection assay is highly specific and sensitive and can be run in as little as eight hours.

“Food companies and food testing organizations are seeking validated tools to help safeguard the public from organisms such as E. coli O157:H7,” said Sharon Brunelle, technical consultant at AOAC Research Institute.

“Life Technologies has demonstrated that the MicroSEQ E. coli O157:H7 Detection Kit performs as well or better than the ISO and USDA reference methods for a variety of foods, earning Performance Tested Methods certification from the AOAC Research Institute.”

The AOAC Research Institute focuses on the development, use and harmonization of validated analytical methods.

The certification of the MicroSEQ E. coli O157:H7 detection assay means that it meets the stringent pathogen detection requirements of many companies and testing organizations responsible for safeguarding food supplies.

“Food contamination is a serious issue, one that can unfortunately have life-threatening repercussions,” said Brian Kim, general manager responsible for food protection solutions at Life Technologies. “With the introduction of the MicroSEQ E. coli O157:H7 assay, Life Technologies is adding to the arsenal of tools available to authorities to help ensure a safe and reliable global food supply.”