U.S –  A team of scientists, backed by the National Science Foundation, is embarking on an ambitious mission to develop a sensor-based decision-making system that will assess and mitigate Salmonella contamination across the entire poultry supply chain, from farm to fork.

Salmonella, a notorious culprit in foodborne illnesses, has long plagued communities with limited resources.

Recognizing this disparity, the project aims to level the playing field by harnessing the power of data. By providing vital information to industry players, retail markets, food banks, and local health departments, this initiative aspires to empower decision-makers with the insights needed to enhance food safety, ultimately promoting health equity.

At the helm of this groundbreaking research is the University of Missouri, collaborating with scientists from The University of Missouri—St. Louis, Lincoln University, Auburn University, and the University of Notre Dame.

Together, they form a formidable team poised to tackle one of the most pressing issues in food safety.

From sensor to solution

The crux of this innovative system lies in its sensors. These devices, employing lasers and fiber optic cables, possess the ability to swiftly detect the presence of Salmonella, even at extremely low concentrations.

Portable and user-friendly, these sensors offer results ranging from one hour to as swift as ten minutes. Moreover, the researchers are hard at work developing a sensor capable of identifying the specific serotype of Salmonella in a sample.

Sensor at every step

To create an all-encompassing solution, the researchers plan to integrate these sensors into various stages of poultry processing.

From washing and defeathering to cutting, packaging, transportation, and storage, no part of the supply chain will be left untouched. The ultimate aim is to create a comprehensive safety net against Salmonella contamination.

Crucially, this project encompasses more than just sensor development. It also involves the creation of a model to guide businesses in making data-informed choices.

This model will help them determine which sensors are most effective for their operations and where to strategically place these sensors throughout the supply chain.

While the research zeroes in on Salmonella in poultry, its implications are far-reaching. The technology and model born from this project possess the adaptability to address other critical foodborne pathogens and supply chains, promising a safer food landscape.

As this multiyear, multi-disciplinary project takes its initial steps, the researchers have their sights set on the future.

Additional funding from the National Science Foundation and other groups will be sought to propel this transformative endeavor into its next phase.

For all the latest food safety news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.