(Photos by NANO)
The latest outbreak of E. coli makes the public concerned about the safety of their food. Dr. Su Dwarakanath, CTO of Nano Science Diagnostics, discusses today’s problems, “Our company has been working with the food industry because they are seeking faster and more sensitive tests to uncover diseases.” We discussed the causes of these outbreaks. Dr. Sri Satanayarana, CEO, explains, “Raw vegetables and fruits can be contaminated with E. coli from natural fertilizers like animal’s manor.
The juice food industry works on the assumption that there are not any infectious diseases present but they will act if a red flag is raised. The question is how soon do you raise the red flag? It is up to the food safety agencies to mandate a certain amount of testing before the products are released. The situation that took place in the spinach case is similar. Spinach is coming in by the truckloads from the farms and there’s stamped samples of the leaves with serial numbers waiting to be tested. If they could have tested each batch on the spot the problem could have been avoided.
After infecting the crops, the animal may be slaughtered for its meat. The public assumes that farmers perform tests when they kill the animals, but Dr. Sri found, “We went to the meat processing plants to see for ourselves. No they do not test the animals before killing them. The meat processing plants test after several animals have been processed, after the meat has been collected and is ready for shipment. They back sample each box which could contain meat from some several animals. The sample of 300 Grams is placed in a plastic bag with a serial number logged into a computer, and sent to be tested elsewhere. The truck leaves the loading dock. But they do not get the results immediately, and have to wait. Later they have to decide what they will do with the whole shipment.
It is the responsibility of the floor manager to contact the truck driver at the end of the day when he is just about to make the delivery. After hearing from the lab, the floor manager must tell the driver which boxes were negative or positive for E. coli and other infections.” This procedure seems like a waste of time, processing the meat, and then finding out later. Dr. Su adds, “There is a second level of E. coli in all animals. If you go beyond a certain range, that is the problem. The trouble with raw meat is when they cut it, the disease multiplies many times.”
Drs. Sri and Sue have the answer! Sri said, “We want to put this little instrument right at the place where you take your sample. So you don’t have to ship your sample to some lab. You put it in our cartridge, run the test, and this little instrument gives you the answers right away. It is connected to your computer and logs the numbers, then you load your truck and you’re done. The other way, he has to wait to know what is happening and this could be a big problem. The company said, “If you give your tester to us we would jump on it immediately!” Most everybody likes the idea. It could save lives! www.nanosciencediagnostics.com
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