The CFIA awards grant funding through Innovative Solutions Canada for Project BISTRO for the detection of salmonella, listeria and other food borne pathogens in leafy greens and produce
GUELPH, CANADA, and Ottawa, CANADA, April 22, 2021 – Precision Biomonitoring has received a grant from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) through the Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) Program to develop a rapid, highly-sensitive, mobile and specific testing methodology aimed at the improved detection of food borne pathogenic bacteria.
Project BISTRO aims to develop a rapid point-of-need solution to detect harmful pathogenic bacteria, including listeria and salmonella, particularly in leafy greens and produce, with greater sensitivity than current state-of-the-art testing technology.
“As food borne illnesses rise, it will be important that Canada is equipped with the innovative tools and resources that will enable bacteria detection before products reach stores and consumers,” says Dr. Mario Thomas, CEO, Precision Biomonitoring. “We are looking forward to being able to potentially improve food borne illness detection that will ensure the health and safety of Canadians.”
Project BISTRO is an ultra-portable, low-cost platform that uses on-site sample preparation tools with an integrated enrichment step to extract nucleic acids from various contaminated sample types. Using highly sensitive amplification coupled with digital lateral flow devices, the solution will be able to deliver reliable detection results in less than two hours. Project BISTRO is an adaptation of Precision Biomonitoring’s successful TripleLockTM platform, which was approved by Health Canada to support rapid testing needs in response to COVID-19.
”If successful, a portable tool like this could help reduce risk in food supply by detecting food borne pathogens throughout the farm-to-fork continuum,” says Tammy Switucha, Chief Food Safety Officer for Canada and Executive Director, Food Safety and Consumer Protection Directorate, CFIA. “The CFIA appreciates the work being done by Precision Biomonitoring to support innovation and evolve with rapidly changing technology that can help keep our food supply safe.”
The device will provide food producers, farming and agriculture operations, distribution centres and large-scale grocers with peace of mind that they are providing their customers with safe food and produce.
CFIA has awarded Precision Biomonitoring a Phase I grant through the ISC program to continue development of Project BISTRO. If successful, following Phase I and analysis of results, Precision Biomonitoring will apply for an additional ISC grant for Phase II, which would enable the partners to bring Project BISTRO from concept to commercialization.
Founded in 2016, Precision Biomonitoring provides industry-leading expertise in molecular direction of organisms. Their very own TripleLock™ technology aims to deliver rapid, on-site environmental, food, animal and human diagnostic testing solutions. Customers are any organizations that need onsite surveillance and rapid identification of any organism in any environment. The Precision Biomonitoring team is at the forefront of technological innovations in the genomics industry. Our vision is a world where we can identify any organism on the spot, in an instant, anywhere on the planet.
As a science-based regulator, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has a broad mandate that encompasses food safety, animal health, plant health and international market access. Mitigating risks to food safety is the CFIA’s highest priority, and the health and safety of Canadians is the driving force behind the design and development of CFIA programs. The CFIA, in collaboration and partnership with industry, consumers, and federal, provincial and municipal organizations, continues to work towards protecting Canadians from preventable health risks related to food and zoonotic diseases.