By Sandy Zimmerman
(Photos by Nano Science Diagnostics)
The outbreak of E. coli makes the public concerned about the safety of their food. Dr. S. Dwarakanath, CTO of Nano Science Diagnostics, discussed the problem, “Our company has been working with the food industry to find 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 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 some 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 test animals when they kill them, 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 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.”
NSD’s technology has passed all sorts of rigorous testing. It is far more sensitive than other 8-hour culture and PCR tests in the market.
The food and animal testing kits should be approved and available in about six months, and the medical kits around nine to ten months later because there is a longer process of approval for the medical testing.