Fridges could soon use LASERS to warn you when food has gone off: Beams can detect bacteria crawling over your groceries.

  • Bacteria have hair-like flagella, which they use to move around
  • When a laser shines on food, it scatters off the surface to make ‘speckle’
  • The moving bacteria means the speckle pattern changes over time
  • Changing patterns can be captured by cameras to detect bacteria 

If you’ve never experienced food poisoning, count yourself lucky.
Each year 50 million people suffer food poisoning in the US, including more than a million cases of potentially lethal salmonella poisoning, and there are over 500,000 cases in the UK.
Now, physicists have invented a way to detect bacteria and potentially prevent food poisoning using a laser beam in your fridge.