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New Addition To The BAX System Family Adds Flexibility For Food Testing
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Sophisticated Test Techniques = a Media Time Bomb Where QADEX Can Help
Friday July 17 2015 04:13
Best Approach To Testing From CFA
Wednesday June 17 2015 06:35
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Today's News
New Addition To The BAX System Family Adds Flexibility For Food Testing
DuPont Diagnostics has introduced the DuPon BAX System X5, a new PCR-based testing platform and the newest addition to the award-winning BAX System family.

The BAX System X5 instrument and associated accessories, including the automated DuPont Thermal Block for sample preparation, offer the same fast, accurate and easy-to-use pathogen detection solution that customers have come to expect from the BAX System method, but in a smaller lightweight construction to provide greater testing flexibility.

“Our goal in developing the BAX System X5 platform is to bring the advanced, genetics-based PCR technology of the BAX System method to customers who may not have a need for the full 96-sample capacity of the BAX System Q7 instrument,” said Alain Minelli, DuPont Diagnostics marketing manager.

“Now food companies, contract testing laboratories and government agencies can use the BAX System X5 to perform reliable, accurate pathogen testing in a way that best suits their testing volume, laboratory space and financial requirements.”

Initially the BAX System X5 platform will be available for testing a variety of food and environmental samples for Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, Listeria species and L. monocytogenes. These BAX System X5 PCR assays will provide next-day results for most sample types after a standard enrichment and about 3.5 hours of automated processing in the BAX System X5 instrument.

Further development is under way to expand the new platform to include additional PCR assays.
Item last updated:   Wednesday June 17 2015 06:35
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Sophisticated Test Techniques = a Media Time Bomb Where QADEX Can Help
In an embarrassing press release last week, Food Standards Scotland alongside the FSA (Food Standards Agency) were forced to rescind a UK wide recall of ground cumin provided by the Bart Ingredients Company, after more detailed test results evidenced an entirely different result...

Additional testing by the Laboratory of the Government Chemist (LGC) proved that almond protein was not found in the ingredient. In the case of Bart Ingredients Company, now the story has been proven to be unfounded, the coverage stating this has been minimal, and posted in ‘insider industry’ sources where the public at large do not have access, unless they search for it specifically.

This situation highlights the enormous brand protection risks to UK food businesses even if it turns out that the incident was a false alarm. In suspected cases of the presence of adventitious cross contamination, it is possible that the media can, unwittingly, cause irreparable and unnecessary damage to the precarious UK food industry.

Stephen Whyte, MD of QADEX suggests: “A guidance protocol or media code of practice could assist journalistic investigations. Clearly, the media need to be able to investigate and publish their findings, and we encourage the sensible use of such investigations. But there are no accepted thresholds for what could be defined as adventitious cross contamination, or effective routes of engagement with the media to explain that a positive test result may not always be what is seems”…

The second batch of tests, were performed using a more complex, more expensive, and more specific methodology than the original process, which has thus far, only served to create headline media coverage and foster further distrust in our already over-cautious retail markets.

Can UK businesses protect themselves?

It is easy, and relatively cheap, for a reporter looking for a story to purchase some food in a retail store and send to a lab for testing. But the reliability of some test results can often be called into question, whether as a result of how the samples are collected or the analytical methodologies used, which could bring journalism into some disrepute.

QADEX can help by engaging with Journalists on behalf of the Industry

QADEX can be used as an Expert, to assist media professionals in gathering an accurate and definitive story. QADEX Software is being used more and more throughout the UK retail industry, delivering stringent best practices, ensuring a robust supplier approval management system, detailed product risk assessments, comprehensive product specifications and extensive QA checks on intake to monitor compliance with raw material specification for at risk ingredients.

If you have a news story about a suspected cross contaminant, do contact us here at QADEX for up to date expert industry advice…

The QADEX website has more information.
Item last updated:   Wednesday June 17 2015 06:35
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Best Approach To Testing From CFA
Taking a science and risk-based approach to testing is key to obtaining relevant and reliable data that can be acted on to manage risks in practice, according to the Chilled Foods Association (CFA).

CFA’s Microbiological Testing and Interpretation Guidance (MTIG) can be downloaded from

To broaden the principles it sets out, CFA has proposed the following simple approach to the FSA to help decide whether and how to test any food for any contaminant:

1. Always consider why the test is being done. What information do you hope to obtain, and what would results mean? What are you going to do about the consequences? Is any potentially required corrective action within your control?

2. Only use laboratories certificated for that specific method and ensure that the method has been validated for the analyte/organism and food matrix in question. Identify what interfering factors there might be in the food material; e.g. anthocyanins/ELISA. See Appendix 2 of MTIG.

3. Understand before testing is done what the sensitivity, accuracy and tolerance are of the method used, and how these may impact on results.

4. Before testing is done, obtain in writing from the laboratory an agreement covering communication of findings to you, the Food Business Operator (FBO), and to any agreed third party. This is important as samples may not be from food that has been placed on or which is intended for the market.
Kaarin Goodburn, CFA Director says: “We agree that a common science/risk-based approach in the UK is key to obtaining a similar approach across the EU and beyond. Could this checklist be the basis of simple general guidance or a checklist for FBOs? There would be cost benefits and it would enhance the value of testing done as the potential for irrelevant or erroneous results would be reduced.”
Item last updated:   Wednesday June 17 2015 06:35
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