Boffins have created an innovative self-cleaning supermarket checkout that can kill deadly superbugs such as MRSA, E.coli and salmonella.

Quantum UV Techno-logies has developed an innovative new ink that can be printed on to checkout belts to act as a protective barrier against bacteria. The ink prevents the bacteria’s access to nutrients so it starves and dies. It has a bacterial kill rate of 99.9% over a 24-hour period.

The company has also designed an internal brush cleaning system that can apply a thin film of anti-bacterial solution to the belt when a spillage occurs.

Director Eddie Tucker came up with the idea after standing in a supermarket queue and noticing fluid from a packet of raw chicken had spilt onto the belt.

He said the company had approached Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda within the past few weeks and had been “blown away” by the interest. “We’ve met managers and buyers and they’re really interested – one even said ‘this is what we’ve been waiting for’.” Tucker is hoping to secure a trial by the end of the year.

Quantum was initially asking retailers to rent the system at around £10 a week per belt. Retailers would be able to print ads onto checkout belts to cut costs, he added.