FDA Detectives Use Stomacher® 400 Circulator for Sample Preparation in Cantaloupe Listeriosis Scare

Soil and fruit involvement eliminated

Worthing, UK - Seward, the manufacturer and developer of the patented Stomacher® Paddle Blender range, highlights the use of the Stomacher® 400 Circulator in the elimination of soil and fruit as possible sources in a recent fatal cantaloupe melon Listeriosis scare. At the height of the scare the outbreak detectives of the FDA were mystified after extensive testing of soil and fruit revealed a total absence of Listeria Monocytogenes. The method applied was the FDA standard method1. This requires the preparation of samples using the Stomacher® 400 Circulator laboratory paddle blender supplied by Seward Limited.

Last year's Listeriosis scare in the USA, which caused 25 lives to be lost and severe illness for several hundred people, was finally traced to cantaloupe melons2. Initially thought to be due to the use of biomass or sewage as fertiliser by melon growers, such a discovery would have been catastrophic for these growers. However, extensive testing by the FDA using the Stomacher® 400 Circulator revealed that this was not the case. Ultimately, the problem was traced to poor hygiene and plant construction at a single packing plant.

The Stomacher® 400 Circulator is extensively used in the food industry for preparing samples for Listeria testing. This organism is widely present in the environment and is slow to cause symptoms in patients. With huge health, as well as commercial considerations, outbreaks need to be traced quickly. The quality of the sample and reliability of the data is key to the performance of all rapid testing methods. It is for this reason that the Stomacher 400 Circulator is the most referenced laboratory blender in comparative studies between rapid microbiological detection methods and traditional reference techniques.

For further information on Seward's Stomacher® range and other sample preparation products, please visit: www.seward.co.uk.


o A field study of the microbiological quality of fresh produce. http://www.gaps.cornell.edu/pubs/Texas_Juan_Anciso.pdf

o 25 Dead From Melons: FDA Points to Packing Facility, http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/10/listeria-melon-packing/

About Seward Limited - www.seward.co.uk

Seward manufactures the world leading range of Stomacher® paddle blenders and Stomacher® accessories used in sample preparation for microbiological analyses. The company has been manufacturing and developing the world renown and patented Stomacher® Lab Blender for 40 years. The original and still regarded as the best, over 8 million food samples a day are prepared on Stomacher® 400 paddle blender units around the world.

In addition to sample preparation for food safety analyses, within the bioscience market the new developments of the Stomacher® 80 and micro 80 are proving invaluable for safe and efficient sample processing. The Stomacher® 3500 has established itself as the instrument of choice for preparing samples for the new pathogen test protocols requiring jumbo size samples.

The company is based in Worthing, West Sussex, UK with subsidiaries in Long Island, N.Y., USA and Singapore. All Seward machine products are manufactured within the UK and 1 of its 3 worldwide Stomacher® bag manufacturing operations is also UK-based. This ensures control of quality and price to deliver excellent value to global trading partners and laboratory customers.

Seward Limited continues to develop the product range, now with 3 patents to its credit. Stomacher® is the most highly referenced brand name in food safety and life science sample preparation in scientific publications. The company also assists customers with method development through reference searches and sample evaluations within its own development laboratory.

Seward contact details:

Europe and ROW: +44 (0) 1903 823077; info@seward.co.uk

US & Canada: +1 631 750 5660; info@sewardusa.com

Asia, Pacific and Middle East: +65 67447811; info@sewardinternational.com

Product Enquiries

Seward Ltd

Stuart Ray

t: +44 (0) 1903 236411

e: stuartray@seward.co.uk

Twitter: @Labstomacher

w: www.seward.co.uk

Media enquiries

Alto Marketing Limited

Sarah Perceval - PR Media Relations Specialist

t: +44 (0)1489 557672

e: sarahp@alto-marketing.com

Twitter: @AltoMarketing
w: www.alto-marketing.com

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