Dr. Wendy Warren, AFTL, to present “Developments in STEC Detection to Meet the New Regulations” at the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB)

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Industry Veteran Dr. Wendy Warren, Vice President of Government & Regulatory Affairs for AEGIS FOOD TESTING Laboratories delivers the most recent developments in the latest “Big 6” non-O157 Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) test methods and new opportunities for applied advancement to the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB), an international association dedicated to the advancement of microbiological sciences.

Dr. Wendy Warren, Vice President of Government & Regulatory Affairs, AEGIS FOOD TESTING Laboratories

Dr. Wendy Warren, Vice President of Government & Regulatory Affairs, AEGIS FOOD TESTING Laboratories

AEGIS FOOD TESTING Laboratories (AFTL), an independent A2LA accredited food testing lab, has continued to strengthen its position as the preeminent commercial food safety testing laboratory for the isolation and identification of non-O157 Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC), offering state-of-the-science and practical solutions to the food processing industry.

Dr. Warren will share insights and recent findings in the area of STEC detection to attendees which includes academic and industrial R&D scientists looking for unique challenges and problem-solving opportunities in the microbial control industry both within and outside of the food industry. Such discussions are often a forum to drive future innovation and development of better verification tools for the food processing industry.

Dr. Warren explains, “Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) causing severe and even fatal food borne illness have been a focal point for public health agencies, regulators and food processors for a number of years. In particular, E. coli O157:H7 has consistently proven in the U.S. to be the most concerning STEC strain due to its ability to cause severe hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Major advances have been made by the food processing industry in controlling E. coli O157:H7 based on verified program adjustments, and thus the overall number of associated illnesses has decreased. While E. coli O157:H7 control remains a top priority, additional non-O157 STEC are a more recent concern due to continued association with foodborne illness. Accordingly, this year the USDA-FSIS has declared six strains of STEC in addition to E. coli O157:H7 as adulterants in raw, non-intact beef. While surveillance for and verification of E. coli O157:H7 control has been successfully conducted based on unique diagnostic features of this strain, the additional, non-O157 STEC strains lack such features and appear very similar to harmless bacteria at the molecular level, often resulting in an improper signal to noise ratio generated by currently available diagnostic tools. Consequently, food processors are limited in their ability to verify whether assay reactivity is due to pathogenic E. coli or their benign counterparts.”

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About AEGIS FOOD TESTING Laboratories

North Sioux City, South Dakota based AEGIS FOOD TESTING Laboratories (AFTL) provides ISO 17025 accredited independent microbiological and chemical testing services. In addition to supporting clients in their routine testing programs, AFTL offers Microbiological Research, Application and Consulting Services

AEGIS FOOD TESTING Laboratories, the Research & Application Center and Corporate Office are located in North Sioux City, South Dakota, just a few miles from where the state connects with Iowa and Nebraska. The second state-of-the-science laboratory resides in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, just 10 minutes from Will Rogers International Airport.

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