Thermo Fisher partners Agricultural Research Service on food safety testing

Shaun Weston21 May 2014

Thermo Fisher Scientific will collaborate with the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) to develop rapid methods to detect E. coli in food.

The collaboration was undertaken with the aim of providing genetic testing tools to the food industry for purposes of E. coli detection in meat products.

The collaboration will take advantage of the extensive collections of E. coli strains housed at USDA-ARS and Penn State, which will be made available to Thermo Fisher scientists for genetic analysis and subsequent development of rapid DNA-based kits for commercial distribution to food testing laboratories.

DNA from approximately 200 strains will be sequenced using Thermo Fisher's Life Technologies Ion Personal Genome Machine (PGM). Commercial tests will be developed on multiple Life Technologies brand platforms, employing either next-generation sequencing (NGS) or PCR-based technology.