Tougher regulatory standards and the increased reporting of food contamination in restaurants, supermarkets and processing plants has pushed companies to put a higher priority on safety, shelf lifeand cleanliness.
The trend has fueled the demand for more stringent testing and tracing of food products along the supply chain to the consumer.
European food companies are also preparing for the coming into force of the EU's regulations on hygiene and on food and feed. The EU's new hygiene regulation comes into force on January 2006. Theregulation on controlling food and feed exports comes into effect in two phases, January 2006 and January 2007. The regulations are part of an EU programme to ensure food safety within the bloc.
UK-based Oxoid said this week that its Salmonella Rapid Test kit has been approved for use by the internationally-recognised Frenchaccreditation body, AFNOR (l'Association Francaise de Normalisation).
The test combines enrichment, selective growth and the presumptive identification of motile Salmonella species in a single culture vessel. The process yields results in 42 hours - less than halfthe time taken by traditional culture methods.
In June Oxoid's Microbact Listeria 12L Biochemical Identification System was approved by the Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association Group.
The Listeria identification kit is a miniaturised biochemical test system that provide recognised, standard biochemical identifications in a faster and simpler format, the company claims.
The kit incorporates 12 tests: 10 sugar tests, aesculin hydrolysis and a rapid haemolysis test.
Following inoculation and incubation, the pattern of colour changes on test strips and lysis allow members of the genus Listeria to be identified to species level.
Following assessment by several independent laboratories, the CMMAS report concluded that the Oxoid Microbact 12L System performed well and compared favourably with other Listeria identificationprocedures.