Friday, September 22, 2006

There's little that's worse for a restaurant or commercial foodservice business than a food-poisoning outbreak. Now there's a way that commercial enterprises can test for two of the more vicious sources of food poisoning: salmonella and E.coli.

Magna Medical has developed E.coli and salmonella test strips that allow grocery stores, delis, food service operators and others in the business to spot-check cooked foods for those germs. There's also a way to use them on fresh produce, too --like spinach, according to Lowen Kamp R&D Laboratories, which ran an independent test on them.

In fact, Magna Medical general manager Robert Greenhim he said he had sent samples of the strips to Dole last year, and they decided not to buy them -- a move someone might be regretting in light of the recent E.coli outbreak from bagged spinach. "I can't talk much about this but I've been subpoenaed in the lawsuit against them in this latest outbreak," Greene said. "It's going to be interesting to see how this develops and what industry does."

For now, the strips are available only for commercial use, but they could become available for home use after further testing and development.

The salmonella strip is the easier of the two to use, and Greene says it can detect 50 of the most common and deadliest strains. The strips are submerged in food samples, and if the organism is present the strip will change color in less than 20 minutes.

The E.coli or salmonella strips cost $3.25 each.
For more information call 1-866-596-TEST (8378) or visit the Web site:

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