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Rapid sampling and detection of STEC in meat

2012/13 Program on Research and Innovation Leading to Rapid Detection of Pathogenic E.coli
Agriculture and Agri Food
Genome Centre(s):
Genome Alberta
Project Leader(s):
Linda M. Pilarski (University of Alberta), Lynn M. McMullen (University of Alberta)
Fiscal Year Project Launched: 
Project Description: 

Contaminated meat can have significant health impacts for the public and economic impacts on the meat industry. Current sampling protocols are less than ideal as evidenced by the many recalls of beef that have occurred after it leaves meat processing plants.

This project will result in the development of an automated genetic test for the rapid detection of E.coli. The test will provide results in less than one hour during the same work shift in which the sample was collected. As well, the test will require little in capital investment and will cost substantially less than current testing techniques. Researchers will adapt miniaturized technology to develop the test which will detect genes that show whether pathogenic bacteria are present. The test will be able to be conducted by meat processing plant employees, thus avoiding the need for specially trained staff or for outside laboratories to screen for potentially contaminated meat.

Other funding partners for this project include: Genome Alberta, Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, Genome Quebec, and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Rural Affairs.