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New Device Detects Deadly Pathogen On Ready-To-Eat Food Surfaces

June 11, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists in France and the U.K. have developed a device that detects foodborne pathogens, particularly Listeria monocytogenes, on food industry surfaces that could be used to prevent contaminated products from reaching the market. Listeria is transmitted by foods such as milk, cheese, vegetables, raw and smoked fish, meat and cold cuts. It has a 92 percent hospitalization rate and a mortality rate of 18 percent, making it the deadliest of all foodborne pathogens. The new device samples single cells and biofilms on food surfaces, then removes cells before they are introduced to an antibody. If Listeria monocytogenes is present, a camera detects a fluorescent signal when cells react with the antibody.
Salomé Gião et al., "New sensor to detect harmful bacteria on food industry surfaces", News release, University of Southampton, June 11, 2014, © University of Southampton
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