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Shiga Toxin E.coli (STEC)

Most Escherichia coli (E.coli) strains are harmless and can live in the gut of humans without causing any issues. However, Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC) strains can cause serious illness. There is therefore a requirement to test for these organisms in foods which may be at risk of contamination by STEC. A comprehensive quality assurance programme featuring the LGC STEC Proficiency Testing scheme is an excellent way of helping to keep consumers safe and ensuring reputations for quality are maintained.
There are many different strains of STEC, which can be distinguished by their serology. The primary serovars found to cause illness in humans are O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145, known as ‘the big six’ in the USA, and O157:H7. As the organisms are pathogens, testing for them is qualitative rather than quantitative, seeking to identify their presence rather than enumerate their levels.
The primary aim of our STEC scheme is to enable laboratories performing microbiological analysis of food and dairy products to monitor their performance and compare with that of their peers. Additionally, we aim to provide information to participants on technical issues and methodologies relating to testing of food and dairy products.

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ISO/IEC 17043
ISO 9001

Scheme Information


Despatch Date

Reporting Deadline


21 January 2019

15 February 2019


18 March 2019

12 April 2019


20 May 2019

14 June 2019


24 June 2019

19 July 2019


22 July 2019

16 August 2019


16 September 2019

11 October 2019


18 November 2019

13 December 2019


16 December 2019

17 January 2020

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