When the first announcement was made about BreastChecker, HIC was approached to see if we could come up with a solution to detecting breast disease in turkeys. The Research Director of Cranberry Foods explained how Oregon Disease makes the meat of a turkey turn green or black, and if it occurs in birds supplied by supermarkets to the public can cause return of the bird and potential loss of the supply contract.
Cranberry Foods offered HIC a small grant to investigate the problem which led to a new product - the Oregon Disease Wand - only ever made in prototype form but supplied in the UK and abroad.
These units are supplied for £780+VAT. The black meat can be cut out of the birds and turkey burgers produced with the remainder of the carcass. The worldwide market could be quite large because chickens can also suffer from the disease.
The wand is placed inside the carcass of the bird on the production line during the processing. The birds have been de-feathered and the probe inserted towards the neck end of the bird. The device is battery operated for safety as the production line is a wet area. A foot switch gives a quick flash of light through the tissues illuminating the breast. Provided the light intensity is carefully controlled, the operator can spot birds suffering with Oregon Disease and take them out of the main production line.