Significantly knocking the waiting time for results and meeting more stringent regulations, Life Technologies (NASDAQ:LIFE) and partner University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine have launched the first real-time detection kit for salmonella in poultry eggs, a move that comes in the wake of last year's massive egg recall.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which approved the product, determined that the Applied Biosystems TaqMan Salmonella enteritidis Detection Kit is just as accurate, precise and sensitive as traditional methods of salmonella detection.
The biotechnology tools company was able to do some by utilizing real-time polymerase chain reaction to quickly determine the presence or absence of salmonella in egg samples. While standard methods typically take 10 days to return results, the Life kit reaches them in roughly 27 hours, making it the fastest on the market.
“The faster turnaround time to reach accurate results with this new molecular test not only enables egg producers to easily conform to the FDA’s new stringent testing standards, but also helps limit the negative economic impact associated with SE outbreaks,” said Gene Gregory, CEO of the United Egg Producers.
Life worked with Dr. Shelley Rankin of the veterinary school to develop the test in response to new more stringent federal regulations about salmonella detection. The move follows a massive recall in 2010 where the nation’s two largest egg producers were forced to recall more than 550 million eggs, affecting 26 states and resulting in a 40% hike in egg prices.
In July, the Federal Egg Safety Program was established and required all large-scale egg producers in the U.S., or roughly 80% of the egg production industry, to test for salmonella to ensure the eggs are safe before they reach supermarket shelves. The regulation resulted in the need for quicker, yet still highly accurate testing method.
Rankin, who serves as an associate professor of microbiology at Penn Vet, said the FDA approval marks a milestone for the U.S. egg industry.