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Microbiological Testing for Food Quality - Microbiology Laboratory Testing - ILS-UKAS Testing of Microbiological Organisms


Microbiological Quality Determination

ILS routinely test over 7,000 samples per week for a wide range of pathogenic, spoilage and indicator organisms covering a vast range of foods and food groups.

Some of the microbiology or micro-organism tests that food manufacturers may be required to test for are:

Total Viable Count – This is a widely used test on food which will give an overall picture of microbiological quality.

Enterobacteriaceae – This group of organisms are used in food testing as hygiene indicator organisms and can give advance warning of failures in hygiene procedures in your food manufacturing site.

Coliforms – This group of organisms is also used as hygiene indicator organisms but in many areas have now been replaced by testing for Enterobacteriaceae

Enterococci – A group of organisms found in the faeces of most humans and many animals they are used as a marker of faecal contamination in food products.

E.coli – These bacteria can cause food poisoning. They are members of the Enterobacteriaceae group used in food testing as faecal hygiene indicators.

Staphylococcus aureus – This organism could cause food poisoning and if it grows in large numbers can leave toxins in the product, which may survive heating. It lives on the skins of humans and animals and can easily be transferred to food products.

Bacillus spp – This is a group of aerobic spore forming organisms, which may survive heating some of which can cause food poisoning. Bacillus cereus is one of this group and your food can be tested separately for this organism.

Clostridium perfringens – This is a commonly found organism, which can cause food poisoning it is a member of the Clostridia family. They are anaerobic spore forming organisms, which may survive heating, they are often associated with meats and other products

Lactic Acid Bacteria – This group of organisms could cause spoilage especially in vacuum or MAP packaging; they grow at low temperatures and at low pH. Some are used in the manufacture of fermented foods.

Pseudomonas spp
– Another spoilage organism often associated with spoilage in fish products but also found in milk and meat, they are found in the environment, in soil and water.

Yeasts and Moulds
– Can play an important role in the spoilage of food, some moulds can also produce mycotoxins that can be harmful to humans.

Other pathogenic organisms such as Salmonella and Listeria are discussed on the pathogen identification page.

To enable ILS to test for such an extensive range of microbiology (or bacteria), we have continued to invest in our automated plating and pouring system. This automation allows the microbiology food testing laboratories to cope with influxes and fluctuations of sample numbers, providing a greater degree of reproducibility of test results.

UKAS accredited, we are able to test food products for over twenty different types of micro-organism or bacteria within our microbiology testing scope. In addition we can apply customer supplied methodologies to test for other bacterial organisms.

Our experienced technical staff are on hand to answer your questions and offer advice on microbiology testing regimes and detection limits for the foods and food products that you produce and manufacture.

Contact ILS  - for your Microbiology testing enquiries.