Magna Medical Services (MMS), a Las Vegas-based supplier of drug-testing and screening products, has launched a new instant screening test for harmful levels of E.Coli and Salmonella.

The test, developed by a medical consortium of industry and clinical facilities, can alert food companies to harmful levels of bacteria within minutes, instead of the routine two to five days it takes to verify contamination from lab culture samples.

The MMS Salmonella strip can detect 50 of the most common and deadliest strains of salmonella. The strips are submerged in food samples and change colour if the organism is detected. The E.Coli strip detects the most common and most deadly of the thousands of strains of the Escherichia coli bacterium.

Each strip will cost approximately US$2.50, and MMS, which has offices in Nevada, Florida and Connecticut, plans to market the product to the food industry worldwide.