USDA Improves Fight Against Food borne Illness: bioMérieux TEMPO® System Selected for Produce Testing

29 Maggio, 2007

TEMPO’s automated food quality testing will help improve food safety nationwide. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is incorporating a new, state-of-the-art technology to advance its Microbiological Data Program (MDP) laboratories. The USDA-MDP has purchased nine TEMPO® units from bioMérieux, a leading industrial microbiology and diagnostics company. TEMPO, the first and only automated food quality testing and enumerating system, will perform generic E. coli testing for fresh produce in all MDP participating State laboratories nationwide.

TEMPO was introduced to US customers in August 2006 at the International Association for Food Protection Annual Meeting and commercially launched in the US in January 2007. The systems have been installed in all nine laboratories participating with the USDA-MDP. The program is funded through Cooperative Agreements between each state and USDA.

“Food borne illness and food adulteration are major public health and economic concerns for the consumers and the industry,” said Alexandre Mérieux, Corporate Vice-President, bioMérieux Industry Business. “bioMérieux developed TEMPO to specifically answer the need for better food safety and quality”.

MDP screens more than 11,000 samples of fresh fruit and vegetables annually. One of the most labor-intensive laboratory procedures is the Most Probable Number (MPN) test for detection and enumeration E. coli. By automating this process, the MDP participating State Agriculture Laboratories can save on operational costs and dedicate more resources to testing pathogens of importance to public health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 73,000 cases of E.coli infection and 61 deaths occur in the United States every year. The United States Congress has challenged the food industry to prevent widespread outbreaks.

For more information about TEMPO, visit TEMPO webpage

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