The Centers for Disease Control estimates that one in six people in the US contracts a food-borne illness each year.
Current food industry testing methods for food-borne pathogens are cumbersome and time-consuming processes involving laboratories using expensive test equipment that requires trained technicians for operation. RapidBio Systems’ pathogen detection system can be used anywhere a pathogen test result is needed. It is easy to use and does not require advanced technically trained personnel to produce test results. These pathogen test results are available in about ten minutes and not hours or even days as is the situation currently. This will not only enable much more rapid dispersal of food products awaiting test results, but will enable producers and distributors to develop new testing protocols that will lead to a better understanding of the causes of contamination, thus increasing the overall quality of the food supply.
For food safety testing we are required to obtain independent third-party AOAC International certification for each pathogen before the system can be commercialized. Neither FDA nor Department of Agriculture approval will be necessary for food safety testing. If we move into clinical applications we would be required to obtained approval from the FDA through its 510(k) process.
Because of the very rapid operation of the RapidBio Systems™ pathogen detection system and its portability, it is anticipated that significant changes in food testing protocols will result. Food testing researchers will have a tool that will allow them to quickly test experimental testing protocols in the field rather than wait for an extended time for results. In addition, these same attributes will allow researchers to efficiently probe the causes of contamination, potentially leading to very reduced rates of bacterial presence.
The device will primarily be used by agriculture and food processing businesses ranging from growers to distributors, packers, and point-of-delivery businesses such as grocery stores. Potentially, other sites such as restaurants and other food service organizations could use the RapidBio Systems™ pathogen detection system, as well.
Any food capable of being reduced to a representative liquid sample can be tested.
The RapidBio Systems™ pathogen detection system is capable of testing for any bacteria for which there is a targeted antibody commercially available. The system will be introduced with test cartridges for all of the main food-borne pathogens (Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter, and Listeria) with other pathogens cartridges to follow.