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.