Katherine Boehle, a graduate student in Chuck Henry's lab at Colorado State University, holds an electrochemical test strip that can detect harmful bacteria in water. Credit: Henry Lab/Colorado State University
Katherine Boehle, a graduate student in Chuck Henry's lab at Colorado State University, holds an electrochemical test strip that can detect harmful bacteria in water.

Food safety pretest may help detect pathogens faster, cheaply

Simple, cheap set of handheld tests created - borrowing concepts from medical diagnostic devices - to detect presence of many water or foodborne pathogens.

Many people have had food poisoning and won't soon forget it. Colorado State University chemists are trying to fix that.

Borrowing concepts from medical diagnostic devices, they've created a simple, cheap set of handheld tests that can detect the presence of many water or foodborne pathogens. If applied in the field, such tests could greatly reduce the number of expensive follow-up tests needed to keep the food supply safe from fecal contamination.

The new testing systems are

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