1. Microbiology & Food Hygiene

The validation of the Qualicon ABAX® system for use as an accredited rapid method for the detection of Listeria and Salmonella in food

Project Reference:

Synergy Project



Commencement Date:

April, 2002

Project Duration:

6 months


A major issue for all food microbiology laboratories is workload capacity. All accredited laboratories use standard conventional methods, which by their nature are time consuming and labour intensive. In recent years, new technologies have been developed which allow more rapid testing and thus allowing higher throughput of samples and improved turnaround time for result reporting.

The ABAX® system uses PCR amplification for pathogen detection and thus reduces the need for confirmation by conventional methods before reporting.

The objective of this project was to gain acceptance of this system as being the equivalent of conventional testing for both Salmonella and Listeria thus allowing it to be used as an accredited method for both organisms in the two official food control laboratories. A further objective was to obtain Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) approval for accreditation for the use of the ABAX system.

Principal Contractor(s):

Mr Noel Shanaghy, Waterford Public Health Laboratory


Ms Helen Cowman, Cork Food Microbiology Laboratory



Laboratory capacity building