Eat your slice of beef without the contamination grief

Consumers of canned beef and swine can now stay assured of the quality of the food and relish the taste without any fear of contamination courtesy ‘IdentiGEN’. IdentiGEN has developed TraceBack, the first-ever commercial DNA-fingerprinting technology for meat. The process starts at the farm or slaughterhouse, where animals are given are tested for pathogens. After receiving a clean bill of health, a worker takes a sample of the cow’s blood, meat or hair, analyzes it for genetic identifiers known as single-nucleotide polymorphisms, and stores the information in a central database. Before packaging is done at supermarket, the butchers take another DNA sample and checks it with the database to be sure of a 100% healthy packaged meat. And if there is trace of any errant pathogen found, the source can be traced back within hours thus making it possible for food-safety officials to nail down the source of the outbreak. According to Ronan Loftus, IdentiGEN’s director of business development: Each product has its own inherent label. It’s like nature’s bar code. Once this system is in place, you can pull a package of meat off the shelves and access its entire history. And the consumers have to pay a negligible premium to get 100% healthy meat.

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