On Tuesday, August 10, 1999 the FDA granted Cincinnati, Ohio based Meridian Diagnostics Inc. clearance to begin marketing it's ImmunoCard STAT! E.coli Test Kit, which can detect
E.coli 0157:H7 within 10 minutes compared to traditional lab culture methods which can take 24-72 hours to get results. This new fast test should enable public health officials to quickly pin down the source of an outbreak or cluster of E.coli. Besides checking human stool samples for E.coli Meridian's test kit can be used to check for food contamination. In fact, because FDA approval is not needed to test food samples, a large food chain has been requiring it's suppliers to use the test kit for over a year now. Merdian began immediate shipping of test kits to public health officials, hospitals, licensed physician labs and reference laboratories as it has built up supplies in anticipation of the FDA approval.