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Food microbiology - a cultured approach

The quality of a food lab’s output is not simply a matter of ‘a job well done’ - any failure to quickly identify a potential pathogen can have far reaching effects. This article looks at developments in approaches to culturing important micro-organisms.

In any food company, ensuring microbiological safety and quality is of paramount importance and much effort is focused on pathogen detection. The challenge is a global one, as food producers and retailers increasingly source materials from around the world. At an international meeting held in 2006 to set research priorities on a broad range of foodborne diseases transmissible from animals to humans, scientists noted that globalisation and integrated markets are rapidly changing the way pathogens travel from country to country.

As well as livestock products, fresh fruits and vegetables are often the source of infection, with well-documented cases of E. coli O157:H7 occurring in several countries. Prepared salads and vegetables eaten raw can pose a particular risk. Some of the economics of foodborne illness are also worthy of consideration.

To read the full article published in Lab Plus International, March 2007 download the pdf.

Article first published : 30/6/2007