We recently visited a lab at the University of British Columbia’s Food, Nutrition and Health building and found researchers hard at work on a home test kit to help detect food poisoning in your kitchen.
They’ve developed a small cube made of natural fiber material that contains antibodies to react with salmonella.
“It’s a very big problem actually,” said Azadeh Nilghaz, who is leading the rapid detection research.
According to the World Health Organization, salmonella kills up to 160,000 people around the world every year.
Symptoms include abdominal pain, fever and diarrhea, but this new test should help you spot problems before you get sick.
Salmonella originates mostly from meat, poultry, eggs and milk. It can cross-contaminate fruits and vegetables too.
Dian Zou, a visiting intern researcher from the Mitacs Globalink program, is helping on the project and demonstrated to CTV News how easy the test kit is to use.
She took a drop of liquid containing salmonella bacteria and placed it onto the small strip and within minutes two red lines appeared.
“This is a positive test,” said Zou.
In your home you simply test the water you used to wash your fruits and vegetables, or place a drop of milk on the strip.
“Yes very quick. It’s a rapid test,” Nilghaz said.
As opposed to sending samples to a lab which can take up to 24 hours to get a result.
Nilghaz says the test kit is nearly ready to sell to consumers and expects it to cost about $1 to $2 a test.
Their next project is a rapid detection test kit for listeria.