New technology could detect dirty hands

With just a flicker of blue light, little Johnny's mother one day may know for sure whether her son washed his hands before dinner.

New light-scanning technology borrowed from the slaughterhouse promises to help hospital workers, restaurant employees -- one day, even kids -- make sure that hand washing zaps some germs that can carry deadly illnesses. A device the size of an electric hand dryer detects fecal contamination and pinpoints on a digital display where on a person's hands more scrubbing is needed.

eMerge Interactive Inc., a struggling technology company in Sebastian, Florida, is hoping to tweak light scanners it already sells to beef plants to detect the same kinds of nasty germs on humans. The blue-light scanners could dramatically improve hygiene among employees who forget to wash their hands after bathroom breaks. This practice is a leading cause of food poisoning that afflicts tens of millions of Americans every year.

News source: CNN

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