How can nanosensors detect bacterial contamination before it ever reaches the dinner table?

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Most people like to know what they are getting when they order a meal or bring groceries home from the market, and an upset stomach is not the ideal follow-up to a tasty meal. A recent study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that 31 major pathogens are responsible for around 10 million cases of foodborne illnesses annually in the USA alone [1]. Of these 10 million cases, roughly 56 thousand will require hospitalization, and nearly 1.4 thousand will result in death [2]. It is further estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that when foodborne illnesses caused by unknown pathogenic agents are considered, the case total rises to roughly 48 million, and the death toll doubles to three thousand. Although there are many regulations in place to prevent the sale of contaminated foods and beverages, it is no simple task to ensure that each product remains pathogen free.

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