PuriCore food safety deal with Safeway Inc - source

LONDON Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:04am GMT

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LONDON Jan 11 (Reuters) - London AIM-listed PuriCore's (PURI.L) significant deal with one of the United States' largest five supermarket chains announced Friday is with Safeway Inc (SWY.N), according to a source familiar with the deal.

PuriCore makes a solution called sterilox, which replicates bug-fighting hypochlorous acid found in the human body, and keeps fruit and vegetables fresher for longer by killing off bacteria.

Safeway, which has around 1,700 stores in the United States and Canada, has agreed to use PuriCore's technology in 750 of its stores. The source told Reuters the company is confident Safeway will roll out the solution in its other stores in 2009.

As well as treating food, some casinos in Las Vegas and cruise liner operators are interested in using sterilox to kill off the winter-vomiting bug by pumping it into the air.

On Friday PuriCore announced the deal, worth $11 million in 2008, to supply sterilox but did not give the identity of the supermarket chain, sending its shares up 13 percent.

PuriCore refused to comment on who the contract was with. Safeway was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Chris Wills, Editing by Mark Potter) (chris.wills@reuters.com; 0044 (0)20 7542 5331; Reuters Messaging: chris.wills.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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