October 9, 2003



USDA's FSIS Adopted BAX System to Screen for Salmonella in Raw Meat & Poultry Products


The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced yesterday that it has implemented the BAX system to detect salmonella in raw meat and poultry products.


This measure will increase efficiency and allow FSIS to further protect public health.

FSIS has determined that the BAX system is as sensitive as the current method of detecting salmonella in raw meat and poultry products, but also reduces the reporting time for negative samples by 1-2 days. FSIS has been using the BAX screening system for salmonella in ready-to-eat meat, poultry and pasteurized egg products since February 2003 and for Listeria monocytogenes since April 2002.

"This measure increases efficiency in detecting pathogens and saves valuable agency time and resources," said FSIS Administrator Dr. Garry L. McKee. "This is another tool that will help us protect public health."

3 FSIS field service laboratories analyzed the BAX system to see if it proves beneficial to the agency. Testing methods used by FSIS laboratories undergo rigorous evaluations to determine their validity and reliability. The laboratories evaluated approximately 314 random poultry and meat samples. The official confirmation analysis method was used to confirm that the BAX system was as accurate as the current method, and at the same time having the capability of reducing reporting time.

FSIS is planning this year to evaluate the BAX system to screen samples for E. coli O157:H7.

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