SEOUL — South Korean startup The Wave Talk says it can improve food safety by commercializing a sensor system that can be used on production lines to detect and remove contaminated liquids.

Food poisoning is potentially fatal, especially for infants and young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with chronic illnesses or weakened immune systems. It kills about 3,000 people a year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a U.S. health protection agency. Food recalls cost the U.S. up to $93.2 billion a year, according to a 2015 study at Ohio State University.

Testing for microorganisms is expensive, complicated and time-consuming. But The Wave Talk has developed a method that takes seconds to complete, does not require specialist staff, and can be installed on food, cosmetics or pharmaceutical production lines.