There's a New Way to Prevent Food Poisoning

This test detects E. Coli in just 15 minutes
Raw Chicken Prone to E. Coli
Photo: nikolay_2002/Twenty20

Between Chipotle’s ongoing issues with food safety and the all-too-frequent recalls of staples like ice cream and Eggo waffles, food-borne illness is a major issue for large producers in the U.S. New technology, however, could help prevent outbreaks, Gizmodo reports. The test essentially combines two already existing techniques for detecting E. coli contamination, and results are ready in as little as 15 minutes—far shorter than the three weeks it typically takes to confirm the presence of the bacteria.

The test currently works only for E. coli, but Tuhina Banerjee, who authored the paper, says the test could potentially be adjusted to detect salmonella and other bacteria that can be passed along through food.

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While the new technique is promising, it can’t be packaged and shipped to food suppliers and supermarkets. At least, not yet.


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