Food Safety Applications Overview
Good understanding of microbiological aspects of food production as well as awareness of possible microbial contaminations of foodstuffs is crucial for the general food safety. Reliable tests systems for analytical evaluation of microbial safety shall ensure delivery of safe products to the consumers and decrease the risk of contamination with life-threatening bacteria.
Compact Dry Food Microbiology Made Easier series will focus on the current and arising issues within the food microbiology and hygiene testing fields subsequently addressing the most common questions and pinpointing the usage details which are critical for the microbiological safety of food. By elaborating on the available analytical solutions, Compact Dry Food Microbiology Made Easier guide will therefore serve as a comprehensive know-how base for all practicing food microbiologists and food safety professionals.
Microbial contaminants in foodstuffs and food production
The problem of microbial contaminants in foodstuffs is not a new one and has been getting more and more into the focus of public health. Even if the consumers do not know much about microorganisms in general they already understood that microbiological testing is necessary to avoid infections caused by foodborne pathogens.
Most common microbiological contaminants in food
The term “salmonella” seems to ring a bell while discussing food safety with laypeople. Salmonella is, yet, only one of numerous parameters which have to be tested in relevant matrices – even if it is one of the most commonly known pathogens. The next group of interest is the “fecal contaminant bacteria” which are exemplified by coliform bacteria, Enterobacteria or E. coli which is still the number one indicator for fecal contaminations.
Other organisms present in the environment of food production facilities, such as Staphylococci, Listeria, Bacilli and last but not least yeasts and molds, could pose additional threats if they are not monitored well. All of them are naturally present on raw materials or humans and some of them have a highly pathogenic potential and can lead to serious diseases.
Finally, the main parameter a food microbiologist has to look for is the total amount of bacteria, the so called “total viable count”.
Microbial contamination monitoring
The most efficient way to monitor the production process on microbial contaminants is the implementation of in-process controls at the production site. These controls mitigate problems at an early stage when set up in the right way: taking samples at critical control points and analyzing them with reliable microbiological methods. Such a control system allows the producer to react quickly and take the right measures to ensure the food safety for the end consumers.
A preliminary option to optimize the process is the control of the incoming raw materials. On the other hand, the end product controls are usually done by accredited laboratories but could be also conducted “in-house” with officially validated and easy to handle methods. This is the mission of the portfolio of Compact Dry: a robust, easy to handle microbiological test system with a proven reliability by official validations according to ISO 16140 as well as AOAC-RI standards.
Compact Dry Plates for Food Microbiology Testing
Compact Dry plates can be used everywhere at any time since the dry plates are not reconstituted before the sample implementation and are therefore stable at common temperatures for long periods of time. Chromogenic agents present in all Compact Dry media types enable easy counting of colonies (product example: Compact Dry Total Count) after incubation.
R-Biopharm offers the analytical test system Compact Dry for the following parameters:
- Total count
- Coliform Bacteria
- E. coli and coliforms
- Yeasts and Molds
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Bacillus cereus
Compact Dry provides alternative solutions to classic agar plates and with the following issues of “Compact Dry: Food Microbiology Made Easier” we intent to bring you step by step to this fine product by sharing a deeper insight into the necessity and advantages of microbiological food controls.