Why are we undertaking this project?
Recent work using Advanced Microbial Profiling (AMP) has shown that our knowledge (based on culture methods) of the progression of microflora
during shelf-life of certain products is incomplete. Improving our understanding of this will allow us to set microbiological limits for organisms
of concern, potentially extending shelf-life.
What are we doing as part of this project?
Using AMP to re-evaluate microbial specifications for a range of chilled products and to analyse the effect that naturally occurring microflora
has on the growth of pathogenic microflora.
Current status of the project
In the first phase, we have challenge tested smoked salmon with a suite of pathogens including Listeria monocytogenes and monitored growth
in conjunction with population profiles of the spoilage flora. Listeria is shown to grow in the product through the use of conventional
counts, and the profiling has revealed that this growth starts at the same time as the microbial population undergoes a change. Profiling has
also indicated that the current microbiological specifications for this product are likely to miss potentially important spoilage flora. The next
stage involves similar studies with Clostridium botulinum in red meat.