reports another development in the food industry’s fight against E. coli contamination:

Strategic Diagnostics Inc., a leading provider of biotechnology-based detection solutions for food safety and life science applications, today announced that its recently improved RapidChek(R) E. coli O157 (including H7) System has earned Performance-Tested Methods(SM) certification from the AOAC Research Institute (License Number # 070801) for testing composite samples of raw beef including ground beef and boneless beef trim.

Tim Lawruk, SDI Food Safety Marketing Manager, said about the test method:

"With the recent announcements of E. coli O157:H7 contamination in beef products, SDI has been working with leaders in the beef industry and regulatory agencies to understand testing requirements based on new sampling practices and industry testing concerns. The newly improved AOAC-certified RapidChek E. coli O157 test system, which includes improved materials and reagents, is designed to offer several advantages over competitive testing methods, including greater accuracy, faster results, reduced testing costs, and increased confidence in test results. This certification also confirms SDI’s commitment to provide the food market with superior, complete pathogen testing solutions that provide rapid and accurate results."

Good timing for progress.  This announcement comes right on the heels of yesterday’s announcement by the State of Wisconsin that the state is investigating a cluster of six E. coli O157:H7 illness in Belgium, Wisconsin