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Microbial-Vac Systems

Posted - Aug. 31, 2010 at 3:20 p.m.



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Given the number of food recalls in recent years, there seems to be a deficiency in the food safety industry. Current sampling methods for collecting bacteria from food surfaces were developed as far back as early 1900. Since then, there has been little innovation in sampling technologies — until Dr. Bruce Bradley entered the scene.

After hearing about the terrible E-Coli breakout in ‘93, Bruce, a microbiologist, started analyzing food safety practices to understand what might have gone wrong and what could be done. He discovered a primary problem in sample collection. Identifying bacteria is a two-step process, which involves sample collection followed by detection, but most big companies only focus on detection. Nobody had considered how effective sampling might help. Bruce realized that even the best equipment can't detect pathogens that are not recovered during the sampling process.

Bacteria hides deep down in the cracks and crevices of a surface where it's difficult for a swab to reach. Bruce came up with the idea of spraying a collection solution into the crevices and hard-to-reach places and simultaneously using a vacuum to pull up the elusive bacteria. He called his new device the M-Vac Sample Collection System. It became the flagship product for his Bluffdale company, Microbial-Vac Systems, Inc.

Jared Bradley, current company president, says the product has been in development since 1996. It recently received a "no objection" letter from the USDA so M-Vac can safely be used in the industries the USDA monitors. Many companies have already caught Dr. Bradley's original vision of improving the bacteria sample process.

Jared tells me the M-Vac Systems could be used by food safety companies, forensics teams, military personnel and first responders just to name a few. His team is a diverse group of microbiologists, engineers and sales people who have all contributed to the product's launch. With better sampling, the company's primary goal is to make food safer and protect people from food-related illnesses.

For Zions Bank, I'm Chris Redgrave, speaking on business.

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