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New Test Can Detect Food Poisoning Pathogens Before They Reach Consumers

Posted on in Food Poisoning
New Test Can Detect Food Poisoning Pathogens Before They Reach Consumers

We could be on the brink of a world where the number of food poisoning cases reported is dramatically decreased, if a new test being developed in South Korea reaches the point of being commercially available. The test, a paper strip that is exposed to food and then dipped in a chemical solution that produces visible results, is simple enough that supermarket and restaurant employees can perform it without any specialized training. This can potentially be a huge breakthrough in food safety and keeping consumers safe.

Currently, detecting dangerous pathogens in food samples requires substantial training for workers and the use of complex laboratory machinery. It is often too much work for a food distributor or retailer to feasibly perform, so instead, food suppliers rely on safe preparation and storage methods to prevent the development and spread of dangerous bacteria in their products.

Benefits and Drawbacks of a New Paper Test

One of the greatest improvements that this test would provide over current pathogen detection methods is speed – with it, results appear on the dipstick within 15 minutes. It is light, portable, and simple to use.

However, this test is not perfect. It cannot show reagents, substances used in chemical analysis, in a sequential order. This makes analyzing foods and pathogens that require multiple steps difficult. The team developing the test also worries that future versions of the test will not all use the same quality of pressed paper, which can skew its results. The rate at which the tested fluid flows between the layers of pressed paper is used to determine the intensity of the bacteria's presence, so tests that are not identical to each other or are made using paper that is not identical to the company's prototype can result in inaccurate results, either overlooking bacteria in food products tested or receiving a false positive.

Being able to get repeat results is critical with any experiment. Testing food with this paper test is essentially a small experiment each time, so if the results of a test cannot be duplicated when all other factors are the same, the test is no good.

Work with a Chicago Food Poisoning Attorney

Despite the advances in pathogen detection technology, there are so many variables that make it possible for an individual to contract dangerous bacteria from food and become ill with a type of food poisoning. This can have substantial consequences for the individual, who may face steep medical bills and significant income losses as a result of his or her illness. If you have suffered financially because another party's negligence caused you to contract a pathogen in food, you could be entitled to monetary compensation through a personal injury claim. Speak with a member of our team of experienced food poisoning attorneys at Newland & Newland, LLP during your free initial consultation to learn more. Our office is located in Chicago.

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