Biometric technology meets food safety

A Promising New Way to Prevent Food Recalls
Erin Kunkel

We’ve all played the guessing game with food expiration dates at one point or another, or have been surprised to hear of food recalls for unsuspecting grocery items like frozen spinach and peanut butter. Now, scientists are developing technology to act as a safeguard against spoiled food.

In a recent study at McMaster University, in Ontario, researchers tested a biosensor-equipped patch that can be attached to food packaging to alert consumers of the presence of bacteria like salmonella and E. coli. So far, the patches have been tested on products like apple juice and meat, but scientists are hopeful that the technology could be easily mass-produced and used by manufacturers as a more reliable measure of food safety than “best before” labels.

Study authors Carlos Filipe and Tohid Didar say they hope the technology can be further developed to detect harmful bacteria and prevent health issues in other situations, like checking contaminated surfaces in hospitals.

For now, though, the promising potential to monitor our groceries’ freshness and prevent food-borne illnesses is a win-win.

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