DURHAM, N.C., Feb. 16 bioMerieux -- a world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics -- confirms its VIDAS® SLM is fully validated as an AOAC Official Method(SM), available for food manufacturers who would like to test black pepper for Salmonella contamination. Food manufacturers are taking a close look at the black pepper used in their products in the wake of a series of illnesses involving hundreds of people in over 40 states, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food & Drug Administration (FDA) suspect can be traced to contaminated black pepper used in salami and other meat products produced by a manufacturer in Rhode Island.
"We're very pleased that bioMerieux sought AOAC Official Method(SM) approval of their VIDAS Salmonella tests for black pepper," said James Bradford, Executive Director, AOAC International. "AOAC provides a science-based solution, and its Official Method of Analysis give defensibility, credibility, and confidence in decision making for the food processing industry," said Bradford. "bioMerieux was proactive and demonstrated a foresight that is essential during a time when food-borne contamination is occurring in some of the least expected sources, such as frozen cookie dough, peanut butter, and now black pepper."
The VIDAS SLM (Salmonella) and Easy SLM provide a simple solution for the detection of Salmonella species in a variety of foods. VIDAS Easy SLM (Salmonella) is an assay test that reduces hands-on technician time, materials and provides a faster turn-around-time versus conventional methods. For more information visit www.biomerieux-usa.com
The bioMerieux VIDAS testing platform has four separate Official Method of Analysis (OMA) approvals for detecting Salmonella in black pepper from AOAC International, the agency recognized by the FDA, USDA, and cited in the Code of Federal Regulations as the provider of independent, third party validation for testing methods for food borne contamination. VIDAS is a rapid and reliable method that delivers equivalent performance and faster results compared to the FDA test method.
"We see ourselves as partners to our customers in the food industry. Challenging our test systems to the rigors of independent validation programs like AOAC International, is a fundamental part of our research and development programs, ensuring that our products will be ready to support customers should a food safety issue arise," said Herb Steward, EVP and general manager of bioMerieux North America.
The FDA, USDA, CDC and the Rhode Island Department of Health are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo infection associated with certain salami products. Recent tests revealed that an opened container of black pepper used at the salami manufacturing facility associated with this contamination was positive for Salmonella Montevideo and that the DNA fingerprint matched the outbreak strain. (http://www.ri.gov/press/view/10647) On Jan. 23, 2010, the Rhode Island manufacturer of the salami and other ready-to-eat Italian sausage products began a massive recall of these products.
About AOAC INTERNATIONAL
AOAC INTERNATIONAL is a globally recognized, independent, not-for-profit association founded in 1884. AOAC serves the analytical sciences community by providing validated methods and technical standards that give confidence in analytical results. AOAC Official Method(SM) is accepted and recognized worldwide. AOAC has become a very valuable tool to government and industry as public and private sectors have seen the need to work more closely with each other.
Advancing Diagnostics to Improve Public Health
A world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics for over 45 years, bioMerieux is present in more than 150 countries through 39 subsidiaries and a large network of distributors. In 2009, revenues reached euro 1.223 billion with 85% of sales outside of France.
bioMerieux provides diagnostic solutions (reagents, instruments, software) which determine the source of disease and contamination to improve patient health and ensure consumer safety. Its products are used for diagnosing infectious diseases and providing high medical value results for cancer screening and monitoring and cardiovascular emergencies. They are also used for detecting microorganisms in agri-food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.
bioMerieux is listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris market (Symbol: BIM - ISIN: FR0010096479). Other information can be found at www.biomerieux-usa.com.