After three years of research, scientists from Iowa State and the U-S-D-Aare getting closer to producing a machine that can scan meat forcontamination. Meat inspectors now visually inspect meat for contamination.Mark Rassmussen, a biologist fron I-S-U’s National Animal Disease Center,says their prototype uses lasers to identify problems.Rassmussen says the laser inspection is quick and accurate. He says anothermethod used by packing plants checks cultures taken from the carcasses.He says the laser method would also provide a scale to judge how well thepacking plant is doing in keeping meat clean.Rassmussen says they’ve come up with a hand-held prototype of the scannerand are working to design one that will scan a whole carcass. Rassmussensays they hope to have the large scanner ready for testing within sixmonths. He says the scanner could eventually improve the safety of thenation’s meat supply.
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