McDonald’s using DNA-based security system in Australia

January 18, 2013 - 

In an effort to crack down on theft at McDonald’s locations in Australia, the fast-food restaurant chain has hired a British firm SelectaDNA to install a security system that sprays a “non-toxic solution with DNA code” on robbers.

A number of McDonald’s locations in Sydney had been targeted for break and enter by criminals over the Christmas and New Year holiday period. McDonald’s Australian subsidiary hopes the newly installed systems will stop the intrusions.

The SelectaDNA Intruder Spray solution was introduced in 2008 and contains an ultra-violet tracer and a unique DNA code, which “irrefutably” links the sray to the crime scene, according to an online ABC News report. SelectaDNA has currently installed its Intruder Spray security systems in 13 McDonald’s restaurants across Australia.

“Police are able to find SelectaDNA by using a UV torch. The spray glows bright blue under UV light. Through DNA analysis, an offender can be linked to the premise,” said Alice Baillie, marketing manager for SelectaDNA. “A sample the size of a pinhead is all that is required to link an offender to the site.”

Once triggered by a robber, the spray will fall onto intruders as they leave the McDonald’s. It can be synced to a panic-button or to any alarm system within the business.

According to SelectaDNA, the solution is both harmless and too small to be seen but will stay on an intruder for weeks, clinging to fibers and sitting in the creases of the skin. The spray can linger on clothing for up to six months regardless of whether it has been washed. The company claims the spray will stay on bags, hats and weapons “indefinitely”.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that a spokesperson for McDonald’s said the company will increase the use of the technology in stores all over the country based on the successful trial it conducted over the last year.

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About Stephen Mayhew

Stephen Mayhew is the publisher and co-founder of Biometrics Research Group, Inc.. His experience includes a mix of entrepreneurship, brand development and publishing. Stephen attended Carleton University and lives in Toronto, Canada. Connect with Stephen on LinkindIn.