Pathogen Testing in the Food Industry

foodborne-illnessesPathogen testing is of major importance to the food industry as there are 31 known bacteria and virus causing pathogens, and more unidentified agents, that cause foodborne illnesses. The elimination of these disease causing pathogens is a desire for the entire food industry. Food recalls due to pathogen contamination can be disastrous and expensive for all involved.

Fooodborne illnesses are a major concern for the food industry. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that about 1 in 6 people in America or 48 million people are infected with a foodborne pathogen each year. Of those 48 million, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 ultimately die.

Pathogen testing is done to reduce, and ultimately eliminate foodborne illnesses. It is a process implemented in very step of food production to ensure sanitation and food safety. The most common foodborne illnesses that pathogen testing is concerned with are salmonella, listeria, and E. coli. Pathogen testing can be done using conventional cell culture standards, or using newer techniques such as spectrometric or laser-based diagnostics.

Contract Laboratory has helped many companies and organizations acquire pathogen testing to ensure the safety of their food product, such as:

  • Food laboratory needed for microbiology and shelf-life testing of refrigerated beverage to be sold at 7-Eleven stores. Product testing is divided into two levels. Level I Testing, which is for pathogenic micro-organisms may be done from composite testing. Composite testing is where all the samples are blended together and then tested as one entity. Since the presence of any microorganisms identified in Level I is prohibited, this is a cost effective and accepted method of determining compliance to Level I standards. Level II testing covers those microorganisms that can affect freshness, such as yeast and mold and is required for any shelf life up to and including seven days which is the maximum allowable shelf life by 7-Eleven. Level II testing for spoilage organisms must be done on each product individually at initial (day 1), mid-life (day 4), end of shelf life (day 7), and end of shelf life plus 3 days (day 10).
  • Importer needs food microbiology laboratory for microbial Challenge study for beverage 5 log reduction of pathogens: Ecoli O157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes
  • Microbiology laboratory needed for microbiological testing: bacteria /pathogen load estimation, antibacterial material efficiency, pathogens salmonella e coli
  • Research fellow in large feed corporation needs laboratory for feed experiments for Antibiotic resistance and/or sensitivity testing to pathogenic bacteria in animals and fish fed a dietary supplement
  • Chemical company needs microbiology laboratory for microbial analysis:Microbial Bacteria count = less than 1000 cfu/ml Pathogen – E.coli = should be absent Pathogen – Salmonella = should be absent Pathogen – Staphylococcus aureus = should be absent Pathogen – Pseudomonas Aeruginosa = should be absent
  • Food Microbiology Laboratory needed for microbial testing of raw vegetable samples. My company is interested in bacterial counts specifically for e.coli and other major pathogens such as salmonella and Listeria.
  • View more foodborne pathogen test requests

If your company or organization is in need of a laboratory to perform pathogen testing, submit an online test request to Contract Laboratory, or call us at 1-855-377-6821.

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