News from Hygiena

Joint USDA/FDA study using BAX® System microbe identification points to sources of grocery Listeria contamination

Pathogens can lurk at any point in grocer supply chain, long-term research finds

 

(31 August 2017) -- A three-year multistate Listeria bacteria contamination study conducted by the USDA, FDA and academic scientists found that pathogenic and benign forms of the bacteria can lurk in common groceries, and can occur at any point from delivery to final consumer purchase. Listeria monocytogenes is particularly challenging to food safety systems because it can survive at refrigeration temperatures.  Because ready to eat foods can easily transmit L. monocytogenes, the USDA and FDA conducted the major study to look at the prevalence of the pathogen in grocery stores and ready-to-eat facilities in stores and delis.

While the incident numbers in this study appear low, the results are significant because L. monocytogenes is a leading cause of death from foodborne illness, especially among vulnerable consumers such as children, the elderly, and the immunocompromised.

The USDA/FDA “Market Basket Survey,” conducted from 2010 to 2013 at groceries in California, Maryland, Connecticut and Georgia, used the Hygiena BAX® system, which utilizes polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology to quickly and accurately detect microbes.

“We are pleased that this significant and comprehensive market basket survey selected the Hygiena BAX® Q7 system to accurately detect possible pathogens in groceries,” said Kyle Rhoden, BAX® system product manager at Hygiena. “We are proud to have pioneered the application of PCR technology to food safety many years ago and for our partnerships with government agencies and food companies in ensuring a safe food supply.”

The study found that of 27,389 samples from 16 food categories, the proportion containing the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes ranged from zero in soft-ripened and semisoft cheese to 1.07 percent for raw cut vegetables. For Listeria-like organisms (which may or may not be pathogenic), proportions of positive samples ranged from 0.79 percent for the same cheeses to 4.76 percent for fresh crab meat or sushi.

The study also found that L. monocytogenes contamination did not vary according to packaging location (either by manufacturer plant or at the grocery itself), or by the type of store (national versus local grocery brand), suggesting that contamination is possible at any point in processing, storing and selling food.

The survey did reveal some good news—samples of delicatessen meats, seafood, cheese, and salads showed a significantly lower rate of contamination incidence than the same study conducted by the same group 10 years ago.

The USDA has adopted the Hygiena BAX® system into the USDA’s Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook (MLG), a reference for microbiology methodologies used to protect the nation’s food supply, marking another level of acceptance of the BAX® System by the food safety industry. The system has been adopted by the agency for detecting L. monocytogenes, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and non-O157 Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC).

The BAX® System is a breakthrough genetics-based screening method that detects target bacteria in raw ingredients, finished food products and environmental samples. The automated, easy-to-use system has been available since 2000, when the BAX® System revolutionized rapid food pathogen testing.  More than 20 years later, the trusted, tried and true technology of the BAX® System continues to be in use by governments, food companies and laboratories around the world.

The study, “Survey for Listeria monocytogenes in and on ready-to-eat foods from retail establishments in the United States (2010 through 2013): assessing potential changes of pathogen prevalence and levels in a decade” was published in the Journal of Food Protection (Volume 80, No. 6, pages 903-921). 

 


 

 

Hygiena expands distribution operations in Latin America

Purchase of PMR and creation of Hygiena Mexico establishes permanent base in Mexico City

 

(30 August 2017)—Hygiena, a Warburg Pincus portfolio company that specializes in rapid food safety and environmental sanitation testing, today announced that it has acquired Pruebas Microbiologicas Rapidas (PMR), a Mexico City-based distributor that has long served as an independent partner of Hygiena serving Mexico. The newly acquired company is now known as Hygiena Mexico, S.A. de C.V.

The creation of Hygiena Mexico creates a more permanent presence in the region for Hygiena, as the company continues to grow and provide key hygiene monitoring and molecular diagnostic equipment to customers in food safety, healthcare, and other fields.

“We are excited about working with Hygiena Mexico to capture the growing opportunities in Mexico,” said Steven Nason, CEO of Hygiena. “This acquisition is part of Hygiena’s overall strategy to increase access, service and support of its products around the globe.”

Hygiena Mexico is a fully owned subsidiary of Hygiena, and will continue operating its headquarters in Mexico City with six satellite locations in Mexico. The employees of Hygiena Mexico will become employees of Hygiena. The company will continue to market Hygiena products, including the recently extended Hygiena product portfolio which includes the BAX® System PCR instruments and RiboPrinter® System DNA fingerprinting system and other non-Hygiena branded products.

 

 


 

As Campylobacter becomes nation’s most common food pathogen, Hygiena BAX® System Assay becomes key screening tool against illness

Method adopted by USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service

 

The potentially deadly microbe Campylobacter was named the most common infectious agent in food for the first time, shortly after the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) adopted Hygiena’s BAX® System Real-Time PCR Assay for screening Campylobacter jejuni/coli/lari in poultry rinse, sponge, and raw product samples.

The adoption into the USDA’s Molecular Laboratory Guidebook (MLG), which helps set guidelines for microbiology methodologies used to protect the nation’s food supply, marks another acceptance of the the BAX® System by the agency. The system already is an adopted method for detecting Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and non-O157 Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC). Inclusion in the MLG is not a specific endorsement of a method, but an announcement that the BAX® System is one of the techniques used by FSIS labs.

Recently, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Campylobacter, which most often infects poultry and is also found in raw (un-Pasteurized) milk, was in 2016 the most common food-borne pathogen, surging ahead of Salmonella bacteria, which had historically been the most common food pathogen. Campylobacter is believed to cause more than 850,000 illnesses in the United States each year.

The BAX® System method uses the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to differentiate common species of Campylobacter (C. jejuni, C. coli, and C. lari), with adjustable detection thresholds for each species. Results from using the system are available in less than 30 hours, compared to nearly one week for traditional cell culture/incubation methods.

The BAX® System is a breakthrough genetics-based screening method that detects target bacteria in raw ingredients, finished food products and environmental samples. The automated, easy-to-use system has been available since 2000, when the BAX® System revolutionized rapid food pathogen testing. Nearly 20 years later, the trusted, tried and true technology of the BAX® System continues to be in use by governments, food companies and laboratories around the world.

In March, Hygiena completed the acquisition of DuPont Diagnostics, expanding its portfolio of food safety diagnostics products to include the BAX® System, RiboPrinter® System, Lateral Flow System, StatMedia™ and Dehydrated Culture Media product lines. 

 


 

HealthCanada Includes BAX® System Real-Time Genus Listeria as Validated Detection Method

Adoption of screening method points to reliability for identifying food-borne illness sources

 

May 24, 2017 – Camarillo, CA – Health Canada, the country’s national health agency, has included Hygiena’s BAX® System Real-Time PCR Assay as a validated method to screen surfaces for Listeria species, a potentially harmful group of microbes that is a common cause of food-borne illness.

The federal agency included the BAX® System methodology in its Compendium of Analytical Methods, a guide of official methods approved and used by Health Canada’s Health Products and Food Branch to determine compliance with government standards and guidelines, and investigate food-borne diseases.

“We are delighted to see the approval of the BAX® System by the Canadian government for helping investigate the role of Listeria in foodborne illnesses”, said Martin Easter, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Hygiena. “This also validates the BAX® System method for reference laboratories to help maintain the safety and quality of our food supply, and provide highly accurate results to help release products faster, and save inventory costs.”

The Health Canada Compendium includes a protocol for using the BAX® System assay, which allows a single-stage, 20- to 24-hour enrichment, and real-time PCR processing that allows detection of Listeria species on a range of environmental surfaces common to the food industry. Results are available in less than 24 hours, compared to several days for traditional cell cultures.

The Compendium lists several BAX® System assays detecting other organisms such as Enterobacter sakazakii, L. Genus, L. monocytogenes, E. coli O157:H7, and Salmonella. In 2014, BAX® System Real-Time Genus Listeria performance was certified by the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) Research Institute Performance Tested Methods program.

The BAX® System is a breakthrough genetics-based screening method that detects target bacteria in raw ingredients, finished food products and environmental samples. The automated, easy-to-use system has been available since 2000, when the BAX® System revolutionized rapid food pathogen testing. More than 17 years later, the trusted, tried and true technology of the BAX® System continues to be in use by governments, food companies and laboratories around the world.

In March, Hygiena completed the acquisition of DuPont Diagnostics, expanding its portfolio of food safety diagnostics products to include the BAX® System, RiboPrinter® System, Lateral Flow System, StatMedia™ and Dehydrated Culture Media product lines.

Hygiena delivers rapid microbial detection, monitoring, and identification solutions to a wide range of industries, including food and beverage, healthcare, hospitality, pharmaceuticals, and personal care. Utilizing advanced technologies and patented designs, Hygiena provides industry-leading ATP monitoring systems, PCR-based pathogen detection and characterization systems, allergen tests, environmental collection devices, and more. Hygiena is committed to the mission of providing customers with high-quality innovative technologies that are easy-to-use and reliable, backed by excellent customer service and support. Headquartered in in Camarillo, California with offices in Wilmington, Delaware, the United Kingdom and China, and over 80 distributors in more than 100 countries worldwide, Hygiena products span the globe.

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Dr. Martin Easter Appointed Chief Scientific Officer for Hygiena

MAY 02 - Dr. Martin Easter has 30 years’ experience as an industrial microbiologist, and studied for his PhD in Aberdeen where he developed his interest in rapid microbiological methods. Martin has over 15 years’ experience in industrial food microbiology, developing implementing and researching rapid methods.

Martin, General Manager and recently appointed Chief Scientific Officer of Hygiena, is dedicated to the development of rapid methods based on ATP bioluminescence. Hygiena has revolutionised ATP hygiene testing by developing liquid–stable reagents and low cost instruments which has improved performance, reliability and affordability. Hygiena has had rapid growth to become a leading global supplier of ATP test systems in the Food industry, leading the way in food safety. Hygiena’s most pioneering development is the novel bioluminogenic assays which for the first time makes the ATP reaction specific for specific organisms giving results in the same. Commenting on the new position Martin said “I am delighted to take up the role of Chief Scientific Officer for Hygiena and look forward to enabling the business to continue its strong growth through the development and application of rapid detection technologies in support of quality and safety assurance”.

Hygiena delivers rapid microbial detection, monitoring, and identification solutions to a wide range of industries, including food and beverage, healthcare, hospitality, pharmaceuticals, and personal care. Utilizing advanced technologies and patented designs, Hygiena provides industry-leading ATP monitoring systems, PCR-based pathogen detection and characterization systems, allergen tests, environmental collection devices, and more. Headquartered in Camarillo, California with offices in the United Kingdom and China, and over 80 distributors in more than 100 countries worldwide, Hygiena products span the globe. www.hygiena.com

With the recent acquisition, Hygiena has expanded its portfolio of food safety diagnostics products to include all of DuPont Diagnostics’ business assets, including the BAX® System, RiboPrinter® System, Lateral Flow System, StatMedia™ and Dehydrated Culture Media product lines. The combined product portfolio enables Hygiena to provide a more comprehensive suite of products and solutions for its global food and beverage customers.  

 


 

Hygiena Completes Acquisition of Global Food Safety Diagnostics Business from DuPont

 

March 1, 2017 – Camarillo, CA – Hygiena, a Warburg Pincus portfolio company that specializes in rapid food safety and environmental sanitation testing, today announced the successful completion of its acquisition of DuPont Diagnostics, the global food safety diagnostics business of DuPont. The business was originally formed in 1992 as Qualicon. Hygiena will now sell the former DuPont Diagnostics products under the Hygiena brand through its entity, Qualicon Diagnostics LLC.

 

“We are excited to welcome the team to Hygiena and look forward better serving our global food and beverage customers by offering a wider food safety testing portfolio,” said Steven Nason, chief executive officer of Hygiena. “Hygiena now offers testing solutions to cover the full food manufacturing process, from sanitation monitoring to finished product testing. With the growth of our worldwide team, we can now offer even greater service and support for all Hygiena customers around the globe. We are excited to continue investing in new product research and development and further expand our product portfolio through acquisitions.”

 

With the acquisition, Hygiena has expanded its portfolio of food safety diagnostics products to include all of DuPont Diagnostics’ business assets, including the BAX® System, RiboPrinter® System, Lateral Flow System, StatMedia™ and Dehydrated Culture Media product lines. The combined product portfolio enables Hygiena to provide a more comprehensive suite of products and solutions for its global food and beverage customers.  

 

Hygiena delivers rapid microbial detection, monitoring, and identification solutions to a wide range of industries, including food and beverage, healthcare, hospitality, pharmaceuticals, and personal care. Utilizing advanced technologies and patented designs, Hygiena provides industry-leading ATP monitoring systems, PCR-based pathogen detection and characterization systems, allergen tests, environmental collection devices, and more. Hygiena is committed to the mission of providing customers with high-quality innovative technologies that are easy-to-use and reliable, backed by excellent customer service and support. Headquartered in in Camarillo, California with offices in Wilmington, Delaware, the United Kingdom and China, and over 80 distributors in more than 100 countries worldwide, Hygiena products span the globe. www.hygiena.com

 

Warburg Pincus LLC is a leading global private equity firm focused on growth investing. The firm has more than $44 billion in private equity assets under management. The firm’s active portfolio of more than 130 companies is highly diversified by stage, sector and geography. Warburg Pincus is an experienced partner to management teams seeking to build durable companies with sustainable value. Founded in 1966, Warburg Pincus has raised 16 private equity funds, which have invested more than $58 billion in over 760 companies in more than 40 countries. The firm is headquartered in New York with offices in Amsterdam, Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Mauritius, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, and Singapore. For more information, please visit www.warburgpincus.com.  

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