New Testing Could Significantly Reduce Food Poisoning

The CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans get sick, and 3,000 people die of foodborne diseases.

A new start up could have major implications for food processors – and consumers – when it comes to the identification and prevention of foodborne illness.

Branford, Connecticut, Ancera Inc. has raised $8.9 million in Series A funding for technology that helps food producers detect contaminants faster than other methods will allow.

The company’s mission is to prevent food waste, recalls or worse, the spread of food-borne illnesses by integrating the latest in single cell transport and characterization with predictive data systems.

Ancera’s first hardware product, Piper, allows quality control professionals who do not have training in biology to conduct precise testing of their company’s produce, poultry or other foods, at different checkpoints in their supply chain.

Prior testing methods used in the food industry, according to Tech Crunch, have involved labwork that typically takes up to five days for results. But Piper can detect and quantify salmonella in a sample within one to eight hours. It works in conjunction with Ancera’s analytics software, which stores data and delivers reports on the status of everything from raw ingredients to products shipping out the door.

The implications could mean huge cost savings for food manufacturers, as they may better predict spoilage and more quickly assign recalls. It will also mean fewer surprise attacks of the barfs.