Researchers develop rapid test to detect E. coli in food

food test

A team of researchers at the University of Western Ontario in Canada has developed a novel testing kit that can detect Escherichia coli (E.coli) much more quickly than existing methods. The kit detects E. coli 0157, commonly found in ground meat, and is considered more likely to cause severe illnesses than other forms of the bacteria.


The test detects a protein unique to the pathogenic E. coli bacteria and shows results in hours rather than days.


Food samples to be tested are incubated for a few hours. A sample is then placed on a pad. After 15 minutes, the pad displays one red line to show it worked properly, and a second if the sample contains E. coli O157.


The kit has been approved by Health Canada and translated for commercial use.

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