Rheonix Inc. and Mérieux NutriSciences Announce the Successful Conclusion of Early-Access Listeria PatternAlert™ Assay Evaluation

Method Enables Food Producers to Rapidly Identify and Address Recurring Listeria in Facilities

ITHACA, N.Y. — Rheonix Inc. and Mérieux NutriSciences announce the successful conclusion of early-access customer evaluations of the Listeria PatternAlert™ assay, a breakthrough method for rapidly identifying molecular patterns from Listeria strains. The method assists food producers in identifying harborage sites for persistent Listeria and in tracing back sources of contamination. Results are available at roughly half the cost and time of alternative subtyping methods, enabling food customers to take rapid action to reduce the risk of contamination and recall. Rheonix and Mérieux NutriSciences will share the results of the evaluation in a case study at the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP) 2019 Annual Conference, July 21-24 in Louisville, Kentucky.

“There has been a growing need in the industry to have a deeper understanding of the source of Listeria contamination within a manufacturing facility,” said Dr. Tim Freier, Mérieux NutriSciences vice president of scientific affairs, microbiology. “This innovative technology, combined with Mérieux NutriSciences microbiology testing, will provide a truly practical solution that can greatly speed the investigation and corrective action process leading to finding and fixing the root cause of the problem.”

Alternative strain typing methods take up to two weeks to complete and require an isolate in pure culture. The Listeria PatternAlert™ assay, which is performed using the fully automated Encompass Optimum™ workstation, enables users to detect molecular patterns directly from a positive enriched sample, without the need for an isolate. With the PatternAlert software, users can match their patterns across locations and time to rapidly identify harborage sites and dissemination paths, enabling them to make real-time operational changes in their facilities.

In a case study released today, Mérieux NutriSciences describes its collaboration with a manufacturer to evaluate the practical application of the Rheonix Listeria PatternAlert™ technology. Mérieux combined the Listeria PatternAlert results with its EnviroMap visualization software to understand the frequency of patterns in the manufacturer’s facility and determine root cause. Analysis of results identified a harborage site in a warehouse as well as likely encroachment into a production area. As a result, Mérieux was able to recommend targeted actions to address the harborage site and encroachment.

“We were thrilled with the results of this evaluation, and with the insights the Mérieux team has provided throughout this collaboration,” said Brooke Schwartz, Rheonix vice president of strategy and marketing. “This case study shows the power of the Listeria PatternAlert assay to rapidly identify and address persistent Listeria in a food production facility. Manufacturers who were not able to use strain typing technology in the past now have a rapid, cost-effective method to employ to reduce the risk of finished product contamination in their facilities.”

Mérieux will begin rolling this method out to its laboratory network in the fall of 2019.

Rheonix will showcase the Listeria PatternAlert assay for use on the Encompass Optimum workstation at IAFP at booth #435.  

Mérieux NutriSciences will be available to answer any questions related to the technology and other food safety questions at IAFP at booth #219.

About Rheonix:  

Rheonix has developed the suite of Encompass workstations, fully automated systems that provide highly multiplexed sample-to-answer molecular testing for use in clinical, research and applied testing laboratories. With minimal hands-on time, the Encompass systems offer true walkaway simplicity. Rheonix’s growing portfolio of multiplexed food and beverage testing solutions includes the Beer SpoilerAlert™ assay, the most comprehensive beer spoilage panel available; the Listeria PatternAlert™ assay, a rapid method for identifying patterns of molecular targets present in Listeria direct from an enriched sample; and the NGS OnePrep™ solution, a fully integrated and automated DNA extraction and library prep solution. With Rheonix, getting more information from your sample has never been easier.

About Mérieux NutriSciences

Mérieux NutriSciences is a leading global food safety and quality partner — offering chemistry and microbiology testing, labeling, auditing, consulting, sensory testing, customized training, research services, and digital solutions to the food and nutrition industry. Focused on customer excellence, we protect consumers’ health through nutritional research, scientific excellence, and innovation. We customize our services to meet the needs of individual manufacturers, food processors, caterers, restaurants, and retailers. Headquartered in Chicago, Mérieux NutriSciences has grown from a single laboratory to have a global presence. Present in 24 countries, Mérieux NutriSciences employs 7,000 people worldwide working in just over 100 laboratories.