Food detection in the palm of your hand

Genomics industry expert Precision Biomonitoring is developing a rapid, highly sensitive and mobile testing device aimed at improving the detection of foodborne pathogenic bacteria like listeria and salmonella, particularly in leafy greens.
With a grant from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) through the Innovative Solutions Canada Program, Project Bistro aims to offer technology that is even more sensitive than what is currently on the market to food producers, farming and agriculture operations, distribution centres and large-scale grocers.
“As foodborne illnesses rise, it will be important that Canada is equipped with the innovative tools and resources that will enable bacteria detection before products reach stores and consumers,” says Precision Biomonitoring CEO Mario Thomas. “We are looking forward to being able to potentially improve foodborne illness detection that will ensure the health and safety of Canadians.”
Project Bistro is an ultra-portable, low-cost platform that uses onsite sample preparation tools to extract nucleic acids from various contaminated sample types. Using highly sensitive amplification coupled with digital lateral flow devices, the device will be able to deliver reliable detection results in less than two hours. Project Bistro is an adaptation of Precision Biomonitoring’s TripleLock device, which was approved by Health Canada for rapid testing of COVID-19.
“If successful, a portable tool like this could help reduce the risk in the food supply by detecting foodborne pathogens throughout the farm-to-fork continuum,” says Tammy Switucha, Chief Food Safety Officer for Canada and Executive Director, Food Safety and Consumer Protection Directorate, CFIA.

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