Identification of microorganisms
From February 2011 newsletter
Identification and characterisation of microorganisms is a key part of the management of food safety and quality, tracing contaminants and troubleshooting problems such as spoilage. Identification of an unknown species that you have encountered can help to assess whether it poses a safety/spoilage concern or is likely to be heat resistant, for example.
Identification of yeasts can be time consuming and open to subjective interpretation. Over recent years improvements have been made to identification techniques to reduce subjectivity and identification time. Automated systems and DNA-based technologies can deliver reliable results in 24 hours, to assist in contamination/spoilage issues.
The FSA recently announced targets for reducing the level of Campylobacter in chickens (http://bit.ly/eaUm63). In an agreement with the poultry industry and the major retailers, the FSA aims to reduce the number of the most heavily contaminated birds. We are able to carry out both detection and emuneration of Campylobacter in foods. In addition, we have recently published research on the use of lactic acid specifically for the reduction of Campylobacter in poultry.
Analysis: Julie Archer
Decontamination: Dean Burfoot