SAN CLEMENTE, CA--(Marketwire - January 11, 2011) - Micro Identification Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB: MMTC) (MIT) announced a New Year's present for MIT and the consumer: The Congress has passed a meaningful bill, the first in over 70 years, that will ensure the safety of America's food supply and President Obama signed it into law last week: The Food Safety Bill. "This bill will assure Americans that they won't wind up in a hospital just because they sat down for a meal," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stated after the signing.
Further, "From eggs to spinach to peanuts, consumers learn too often that the food they've already purchased is unsafe to eat after people have already gotten sick. Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli outbreaks can only be effectively contained by preventing them in the first place," stated Liz Hitchcock, food expert with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
The MIT 1000 Rapid Microbial Identification System can identify bacteria in less than five minutes after culturing at a cost of less than 10 cents per test and is already certified by the AOAC Research Institute for Listeria. We are in the process to obtain Salmonella and E.coli certification this year. These three pathogens are responsible for most of the worldwide food contamination events and the MIT 1000 can identify the presence of all "three" bacteria with a single mouse click. The importance of this capability becomes apparent when just a few of the following contamination events are considered:
Eggs: Two Iowa egg farms recalled more than a half-billion eggs after Salmonella contamination sickened more than 2,400 people across the country. The Salmonella was tracked to feed used at the farms and was the largest outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidus since records started in the 1970s to track outbreaks. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in every 20,000 eggs in the U.S. is contaminated, about 40,000 people get sick each year and the actual number of infections could be 30 times higher.
Beef: At least seven people were sickened from E. coli after eating beef from Valley Meat Co. of Modesto, Calif. The company recalled about a million pounds of frozen ground beef patties and bulk ground beef products.
California-based First Class Foods recalled more than 34,000 pounds of organic ground beef because of a possibility of contamination with E. coli 0157:H7. The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service reported the recall began when the company discovered a positive result for E.coli O157:H7. Another related pathogen, E.coli O26, has also been linked to the four tons of beef recalled by Cargill Meat solutions.
Rhode Island's Daniele International recalled more than a million pounds of salami and Italian sausage sold under its label, as well as popular deli brands Boar's Head and Dietz & Watson after 272 people in 44 states were sickened by meat tainted with Salmonella.
Zemco Industries recalled 380,000 pounds of lunch meat used in Walmart's Marketside Grab and Go Sandwiches sold nationwide because it may have been contaminated with Listeria.
Cheese: Costco and Whole Foods Markets warned consumers not to eat cheese from California's Bravo Farms after some of its cheese was linked to a Salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 25 people in five states.
Morningland Dairy of Missouri recalled 70,000 pounds of artisan, raw milk cheese it sold nationwide -- including at Whole Foods Market -- because it may be contaminated with Listeria. Morningland is one of two dairies fighting FDA orders to destroy their cheeses that have been potentially contaminated with harmful bacteria. Listeria infections from contaminated food sicken 2,500 people each year -- 500 of those result in deaths.
Produce: Fresh Express Salad Products were recalled three times this year over possible contamination with E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria.
Sangar Fresh Cut Produce, a San Antonio processing plant, was shut down after recalled chopped celery was linked to at least four deaths and possibly a total of 10 cases of Listeria infection. The processing plant supplies lettuce, salads, cut vegetables and fruit.
Tiny Greens of Urbana, Illinois alfalfa sprouts infected 94 people in 16 states and the District of Columbia with Salmonella.
Fast Food: Two separate outbreaks have both been associated with food from an unnamed Mexican-style fast food restaurant chain. Seventy-five individuals infected with a matching strain of Salmonella Hartford and eighty individuals infected with a matching strain of Salmonella Baildon have been reported from 15 states.
90 confirmed cases of Salmonella associated with Subway restaurants according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Nuts: Peanut Butter Corporation of America's Salmonella Typhimurium infected peanut butter infected 714 people in 46 states between November 2008 and April 2009. Nine people died.
ABOUT MICRO IDENTIFICATION TECHNOLOGIES:
MIT is a California-based public company that has developed and patented a Rapid Microbial Identification (ID) System that revolutionizes the pathogenic bacteria ID process and can annually save thousands of lives and tens of millions of health care dollars. The System IDs bacteria in minutes, not days, and at a significant per test cost savings when compared to any conventional method. It does not rely on chemical or biological agents, conventional processing, fluorescent tags, gas chromatography or DNA analysis. The process is totally GREEN requiring only clean water and a sample of the unknown bacteria. Revenues for all rapid testing methods exceed $5 billion annually -- with food safety accounting for over $3.5 billion that is expected to exceed $4.7B by 2015 according to BCC Research. In addition, the recently passed new U.S. Food Safety Bill is expected to increase the current CAGR growth rate of 6.6%. Further information is available at the Company's web site www.micro-identification.com and through a current article in Food Quality Magazine: http://www.foodquality.com/details/article/972723/Tools_For_Better_Food_Safety_Testing_.html
The MIT 1000 previously completed an extensive evaluation by the AOAC Research Institute which included rigorous independent testing and thorough reviews by the AOAC RI and its expert reviewers, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Report is available from the Company. www.aoac.org
Further, MIT has demonstrated the ability to detect and identify, within several minutes, the microbes Escherichia coli, Listeria, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and other pathogenic bacteria. MIT recently performed over 300 tests for the identification of the aforementioned contaminants and scored 95% accuracy. The System can currently identify 23 species of bacteria and is easily expandable. The identification process has also been verified by North American Science Associates, Inc. (NAMSA), an independent, internationally recognized biological testing laboratory. The NAMSA Test Report is available from the Company and, in MIT's opinion, demonstrates the accuracy, speed and cost effectiveness of the System over conventional processes. www.namsa.com
This release contains statements that are forward-looking in nature. Statements that are predictive in nature, that depend upon or refer to future events or conditions or that include words such as "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates," and similar expressions are forward-looking statements. These statements are made based upon information available to the Company as of the date of this release, and we assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results could differ materially from our current expectations. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to dependence on suppliers; short product life cycles and reductions in unit selling prices; delays in development or shipment of new products; lack of market acceptance of our new products or services; inability to continue to develop competitive new products and services on a timely basis; introduction of new products or services by major competitors; our ability to attract and retain qualified employees; inability to expand our operations to support increased growth; and declining economic conditions, including a recession. These and other factors and risks associated with our business are discussed from time to time within our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. www.sec.gov, Referencing MMTC.