Bio-Rad Laboratories, Hercules, CA, announced July 8 that Southampton, PA-based QC Laboratories, an independent food testing laboratory, has selected Bio-Rad’s iQ-Check Prep Automation Solution for detecting foodborne pathogens.
Karen Battista, laboratory manager at QC Laboratories said Lean Six Sigma process analysis revealed that Bio-Rad’s pathogen detection method outperformed the methods the laboratory previously used in accuracy, time efficiency, and cost effectiveness. The iQ-Check Prep Automation Solution consists of the iQ-Check Prep System, a liquid handling system that automates sample preparation for real-time PCR, and iQ-Check Real-Time PCR Kits.
Battista said Bio-Rad’s pathogen detection method has proven to be highly accurate, with no reported false positives or negatives. She added that the iQ-Check Prep System can detect whether a sample is present, which prevents misinterpretation of a negative result.
“For instance, if a technician forgets to add a sample, Bio-Rad’s instrument makes this clear,” said Battista. “The system we used before in the laboratory could only indicate a negative result, but it couldn’t say whether this was due to a lack of sample.”
The iQ-Check Prep System’s walk-away automation functionality, which allows less hands-on time with the instrument, was another important consideration.
“Once our technicians start the instrument, they can walk away and do other tasks,” said Battista. “Less hands-on time during sample preparation greatly reduces the opportunity for errors. This was not possible with our previous automation system.”
The laboratory manager also pointed to the price point and ease of use, as well as the considerable support that Bio-Rad provided during the new system’s installation and testing process, as factors in her decision to consolidate the laboratory’s multiple methods to Bio-Rad’s system.