Third-Party Lab Reduces Material and Labor Costs by Implementing RapidChek®

ESS Laboratory was founded in 1973. Its food and dairy testing division started in 1978. ESS is a privately held corporation and provides the benefit of unbiased, independent consulting and analyses from a highly trained technical staff. ESS provides both general microbiological services along with pathogen testing services for the food, dairy and pet food industries.

The Challenge: 

ESS was faced with

  • annual equipment maintenance cost increases of 10%
  • machine downtime
  • declining productivity

The Solution:

With help from Romer Labs, ESS

  • implemented RapidChek® SELECT™ Salmonella and Listeria
  • scaled up to test a high volume of samples
  • avoided the need to invest in expensive equipment

The Outcome:

Now, ESS can

  • reduce media costs by 11%
  • trim material and labor costs by up to 25%
  • read results in 10 minutes, resulting in quicker turnarounds for customer samples

“We needed a test that our customers would trust. We achieved this by running samples from our core customers with both RapidChek® and our previous method side-by-side. RapidChek® yielded excellent results.”

John Pascale of ESS tells his story…


For our pathogen screening and confirmation service on Salmonella and Listeria for the food, dairy and pet food industry, we were looking for an extremely reliable and versatile method that is both easy-to-use and doesn’t need expensive equipment. Equipment maintenance costs with the enzyme-linked fluorescent assay had been going through the roof over the years and when the equipment was down, so were we. In addition, machine downtime led to an unproductive lab unable to serve customer needs.


RapidChek® SELECT™ Salmonella and Listeria’s reliability in side-by-side method comparison studies and its record against false positive and false negative results proved invaluable. The other factors were cost-per-sample compared to our previous method and the onsite training provided by Romer Labs. The reduced number of preparation and transfer steps means less hands-on technician time and less clean up. There is no equipment to set up and the RapidChek® methods give us the ability to test as many samples as possible at one time.


We were able to reduce media costs by 11%. Additionally material and labor costs were reduced by 10-25% because we no longer needed as many different pre-enrichment and enrichment media. This also reduced the time it took for additional transfer steps. With RapidChek®, we are able to read results in 10 minutes and get our customers their results faster. All of the RapidChek® methods we are currently using allow us a quick turnaround, satisfying our customers’ needs. The incubation times are also more flexible, which allows us to get work done that would otherwise have had to be delayed when sample shipments would arrive late with our previous method.

John Pascale is a graduate of Elon University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Biology and Microbiology. He has over 30 years of experience in food and dairy testing business and during that time has managed several laboratories.