Despite significant advances in communal hygiene practices and food safety measures, foodborne illness is still a significant and deadly issue in the world. The largest barriers to widespread foodborne illness detection are time to detection, speed of information dissemination and cost of testing. To achieve a wide reaching foodborne illness detection network, a system is needed that implements state-of-the-art network communication, biological detection methods and modern portable system technology.

AccuStrata has developed an optical spectroscopic bacteria detection system (portable hand-held fluorometer) that not only detects bacterial contaminates more quickly and accurately than current systems, but also instantly broadcasts detection results to the broader food supply chain network to stop contaminated food from reaching the next stage in the supply chain and eventually people’s homes. The detection unit is an optical UV device, which detects fluorescent light from enzymes released by bacteria, including e-coli and salmonella.

All detection devices in the field devices interface via a computer network, which analyzes, models, predicts hazard levels, and quickly broadcasts warnings throughout the food supply chain. This capability will streamline the process of raising contamination awareness and preventing the spread of infections. The product is used for pathogen detection over a broad range of food categories at various stages of the food supply chain.

The design of the detection system is focused on sensitivity, rapid testing, user-friendliness and scalability for easy commercialization. This handheld device has a sleek touchscreen interface, wireless connection to the server via the local area network (LAN) and allows users to specify bacteria and chemical reagents as needed for food testing. It can be used in retail stores, food packaging facilities, farms and other elements of the food supply chain. The touch screen display shows a simple PASS/FAIL result that does not require interpretation by expert field technicians, although all details of the test results will be stored on the server.

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