Food Testing Start-Up Looks to Stand Out With a New Wrinkle

February 8, 2016  •  Media / Article

The New York Times

Nothing unnerves consumers more and drives them away from a restaurant, food or beverage faster than a flurry of headlines about people being sickened by dreaded bacteria like E. coli or listeria.

Just ask Chipotle Mexican Grill, which has been scrambling to recover from a multistate E. coli outbreak that drove the company’s stock down more than 40 percent and has resulted in a class-action lawsuit. Or Blue Bell Creameries, which faced several recalls and factory shutdowns and now faces a Department of Justice investigation in connection with listeria contamination of its ice cream.

But often, troubles for one business can mean opportunities for others. And the competitive field of food testing is one. Companies big and small are looking for ways to make food testing faster, more accurate and less expensive. It requires sophisticated scientific and technological skills and is far from the easiest point of entry for a small start-up. But one Philadelphia biotech company led by a pair of entrepreneurs is hoping it has found a niche.

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