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Could this new kitchen appliance make foodborne illness a thing of the past?


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Photo: Stocksy/Trinette Reed

When bacteria like E. coli or salmonella strike, they mean business—specifically on your poor intestines. Right now there’s only so much you can do to keep yourself safe from foodborne illnesses (like washing your produce with baking soda), but technology is catching up quickly to help keep you safe in a more universal way. In fact, a new kitchen appliance that fights germs and bacteria isn’t even focused on actual food.

While you continue wishing for the smartphone app that detects sickness-causing bacteria in food to hit the market, some other techy kitchen gear just might become your new BFF: A team of engineers and scientists at the biotech company Vital Vio created under-the-cabinet LED lights—called ellumi—that claim to disinfect your kitchen surfaces by shining specific light wavelengths that are safe for humans but deadly to bacteria, Fast Company reported.

Because the lights get rid of 99 percent of bacteria and more than 23 germs without the help of UV or chemicals, ellumi could be a safe solution for lowering the far-too-high number of people (48 million) who get sick from foodborne illnesses in the United States every year.

Because the lights—which retail for either $90 or $180 depending on panel size—claim to get rid of 99 percent of bacteria and more than 23 germs without the help of UV or chemicals, ellumi could be a safe solution for lowering the far-too-high number of people (48 million) who get sick from foodborne illnesses in the United States every year. Deadly bacteria strains grow super quickly—E. coli alone reportedly multiplies every 20 minutes!—so it’s important to stay on top of disinfecting your countertops and kitchen tools.

Colleen Costello, president and co-founder of Vital Vio, told Fast Company the problem she was noticing was that while most people clean their surfaces, they don’t disinfect them often enough, which opens folks up to risk. “I’m busy just like everybody else, and I don’t clean my countertop every single day,” she said.

And while this model might be a little pricier than your average under-cabinet lights, it could save you a whole lot of heartache—or rather, stomachache—down the line.

These are the only 20 items you need in your kitchen. Or, combine these two kitchen staples to get the softest bedsheets ever.

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