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A simple, accurate, and validated solution for STEC testing

The new RapidFinder™ STEC Detection Workflow is a complete, validated screening system for E. coli O157:H7 and the six non-O157 STECs. This system has been awarded a USDA "Letter of No Objection" and provides meat producers with a simple, accurate, and fast solution for efficiently responding to new screening regulations for these pathogens.

Current methods supported by the USDA Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook (MLG) for isolating single pathogens in food samples are accurate and sensitive, but drawbacks include:

  • Time-to-results is slow, taking up to several days
  • Workflows require a lot of open-tube, wet reagents
  • Workflows are labor-intensive

Developed in collaboration with the USDA, the RapidFinder™ STEC solution quickly detects the presence of multiple strains of E. coli in raw beef in just 10 hours, without sacrificing the level of sensitivity and accuracy obtained with the 6-day MLG method.

Protect your brand with reliable test results

For meat producers responsible for the quality of ground beef, pork, poultry, and other processed foods, ensuring the safety and quality of their products is essential to protecting the brand and identity of their company. The RapidFinder™ STEC Detection Workflow promotes high levels of confidence in the STEC testing programs.

Low probability for false results—through use of high quality DNA prep and proprietary assay design

Validated workflow—detects as few as 1 to 5 cfu of pathogenic STEC in your sample

Get beef products to market faster at lower cost

The RapidFinder™ STEC Detection Workflow simplifies testing with a high-throughput workflow that offers fast, accurate answers, allowing rapid product release—essential to efficiently moving products through the supply chain and to market.

Use of this workflow enables accurate same-day detection of all pathogenic STECs and clearance of negative 375 g beef samples in as little as 10 hours.

Simultaneous E. coli O157:H7 testing—simultaneous detection of E. coli O157:H7 and the "big 6" non-O157 E. coli in 375 g ground beef samples can fit with your existing testing program

Two-stage assay design—clear negative samples in a single reaction (stx, eae, and O157:H7 indicator); confirm presence of E. coli O157:H7 and big 6 in a second assay for screened positives

Minimal DNA sample preparation—both screening and confirmation assays use the same single DNA sample preparation

Assays lyophilized for simplified setup—one volume transfer required to set up real-time PCR

Assays can be multiplexed—highly specific single-target PCR assays developed in collaboration with USDA ARS have been multiplexed and tested to provide high levels of accuracy

A workflow for efficient response to new regulations

In June 2012, as part of an effort to improve food safety, the USDA FSIS implemented new regulations for the US beef industry requiring all non-intact products (beef trimmings) be tested for six strains of shiga toxigenic E. coli (STEC) — the "big 6"— before they can be shipped to the food distribution chain.

The RapidFinder™ STEC Detection Workflow provides a complete STEC screening and confirmation solution for a variety of food products. The assays are run on Applied Biosystems® real-time PCR instruments. This rapid molecular workflow detects the "big 6" STECs, as well as E. coli O157:H7, in 375 g beef samples. The workflow includes a new automated sample preparation workflow that improves ease of use and offers a significant time savings.

The new RapidFinder™ STEC Detection Workflow includes:

  • RapidFinder™ STEC Sample Preparation Kit
  • RapidFinder™ STEC Screening Assay
  • RapidFinder™ STEC Confirmation Assay

Figure 1. The RapidFinder™ STEC Detection Workflow.

Automated with the MagMAX™ Express 96 instrument and the 7500 Fast Real-Time PCR System, the RapidFinder™ STEC assays are part of a STEC detection workflow that:

  • Clears the sample with a single assay and confirms presence of STEC with one additional assay
  • Uses lower-volume, non-proprietary single-step enrichment media, eliminating the need to purchase proprietary media, and minimizing laboratory space requirements
  • Uses automated sample prep on the MagMAX™ Express-96 magnetic particle processor instrument
  • Provides rapid time-to-results of as little as 10 hours, as well confirms presumptive positives with just one additional PCR (~1 hr)


Produce high-quality DNA samples for optimal pathogen detection

Following setup on a MagMAX™ Express-96 instrument, the RapidFinder™ STEC Detection Workflow uses a PrepSEQ® sample preparation that is largely automated. PrepSEQ® sample prep provides a proven method that delivers high quality DNA samples for E. coli O157:H7 and big 6 non-O157 STEC detection in ground beef and beef trim samples.

Figure 2. Diagram of Sample preparation for the RapidFinder™ STEC Detection Workflow.


Automate data interpretation

When integrated with The RapidFinder™ STEC Detection Workflow, RapidFinder™ Express software automates data interpretation and generates user instructions on how to proceed with a sample:

  • Negative—clear sample
  • Requires Confirmation—O group confirmation assay
  • Positive—sample contains a pathogenic STEC

Data displays for novice and advanced users—The software interface shows simple presence/absence calls or, for more advanced users, displays raw data files using 7500 Fast System SDS Software

A - Click to enlarge

B - Click to enlarge

C - Click to enlarge

Figure 3. Versatile software for automated data interpretation. The RapidFinder™ Express v1.2 Software displays results by location in both table (A) and layout view (B). Screening assays can be tied together with the confirmation assays using the screen results importation feature (C).


Receive support from our industry-leading service organization

Rely on our global network of field service engineers and applications specialists to deliver a timely customer service experience, one of the best in the industry.

  • Largest Technical Sales and Service organization—with a food/environmental team of more than 2,000 global sales, service, and support personnel
  • Fast response time for false positives, false negatives, and indeterminate results