Breakthrough Food-Safety Technology May Prevent Deadly Outbreaks of Bacterial Infections

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SEBASTIAN, Fla. -- As Labor Day weekend approaches, many people will be firing up those grills for the last barbeques of the season. However, massive beef recalls this summer has many people concerned about possible meat contamination, which can lead to severe illness. In fact, each year outbreaks of bacteria-related diseases, which can be passed to consumers from contaminated beef, cause more than 75 million illnesses, 5,000 deaths, and cost the United States $6.9 billion in medical costs, productivity losses and premature death.

Now a new technology can detect trace amounts of fecal contamination, which caries the E. coli bacteria, on the meat's surface. The new technology will help the meat industry more accurately identify contaminated sections of meat. The VERIFY (verifEYE) scanning device will allow for better removal of contaminates before the meat ever hits the store shelves. The technology also has several other important implications: it increases the safety of the US beef supply; bolsters consumer confidence in the wake of E. coli outbreaks and mad cow disease; and protects beef packers from product liability litigation

The scanning technology has far-reaching possibilities beyond the meat packing industry. Improper hand washing is one of the main ways germs and bacteria are passed along. Using the new technology in restaurants and other food service facilities, day care centers, nursing homes and even hospitals could help prevent the spread of harmful illness causing bacteria, which could save the U.S. billions of dollars in healthcare costs and lost productivity each year.

Source: Internet Wire

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