Campden Microbiology Proficiency Scheme

Campden Microbiology Proficiency Scheme

How good is your microbiology laboratory? Our newly upgraded proficiency scheme will tell you.

In the food industry, major decisions are made on the basis of analytical results. But how do you know if results are valid? The answer is to compare them with a sample containing a known number of microorganisms.

The Campden Microbiology Proficiency Scheme has been running since 1993 and is designed to allow laboratories to measure their performance in terms of how accurately they can recover and record known levels of microorganisms. It also allows them to compare their results against those of other laboratories.

How does it work?

  1. A freeze-dried sample is sent to all laboratories in the scheme with the simple instruction to detect or enumerate the microorganisms it contains.
  2. The laboratory can use whatever methods it chooses and be as specific or generic as it wishes in the results it reports. It is free to return results for the tests that it wishes, to cover using its own test methods
  3. The laboratory then sends the results back online for analysis
  4. The results are assessed and uploaded so that individual laboratories can see how their results compare to the anonymised results from other laboratories in the scheme

This allows them to independently assess their ability to produce accurate and precise test results.

Some laboratories may only want to report on total viable count (TVC), for example, whereas others may analyse for specific groups of organisms. Depending on the laboratories´ needs, the sample may contain a mixture of pathogens and spoilage organisms, or merely a spoilage cocktail.

Test samples

Two test material samples are available.

  • The first contains mixtures of microorganisms for enumerating TVC, coliforms, Enterobacteriaceae, lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and moulds, as well as pathogens that are usually quantitatively analysed.
  • The second might additionally contain Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter and Vibrio spp., and is designed for companies with suitable laboratory facilities who have experience with handling pathogens.

A detailed report is received by each participating laboratory which includes histograms and statistical information such as Z-scores, assigned values etc.

To find our more, or join the scheme, please download the form below. Alternatively email: microproficiency@campdenbri.co.uk

Key services

COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2)

COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2)

Environmental testing and prevention to help the food industry control SARS-CoV-2.

Microbiological analysis and testing

Microbiological analysis and testing

Covering pathogens, spoilage organisms, and indicator organisms

Microbiological specifications

Microbiological specifications

Pre-set criteria that are used to verify HACCP and Good Practices.

Contamination incidents

Contamination incidents

Situation analysiss and establish why it occurred.

Microbiological shelf life

Microbiological shelf-life

Product safety, retaining sensory, microbiological and chemical characteristics.

Challenge testing

Challenge testing

A practical study to determine the behaviour of relevant organisms.

Predictive microbiology

Predictive microbiology

Computer simulation of the growth of microorganisms.

Shelf-life testing

Shelf–life testing

A complete service which can incorporate sensory and chemical analysis.

Microorganism identification

Microorganism identification

A key part of the management of food safety and quality

Rapid microbiological methods

Rapid microbiological methods

Advice on most suitable methods for use.

Microbiological methods evaluation

Microbiological methods evaluation

Evaluating microbiological methods, validation and interpretation.

Microbiological risk assessment

Microbiological risk assessment

Helping to guide clients through the complex evaluation process.

Laboratory design

Laboratory design

Expertise in issues relating to microbiology laboratories.

Processing to remove microorganisms

Processing to remove microorganisms

Advice on different heating regimes.

Heat resistance

Heat resistance

Determine whether the process you are using will be sufficient to achieve your aims.

Detection and control of foodborne viruses

Detection and control of foodborne viruses

Foodborne viruses are a safety challenge for a range of foods.

How good is your microbiology laboratory?

How good is your microbiology laboratory?

Our newly upgraded Proficiency Scheme.

Retailer supplementary audit scheme

Retailer supplementary audit scheme

Independent laboratory audit required by M&S/Tesco

For further information or prices please contact us:

Microbiology training courses

Explore our microbiology related courses including; Understanding microbiology for non microbiologists and Setting shelf life: how to do it better

View courses

Are you getting the most from your Membership?

Watch our membership FAQ videos and find out more about Member Service Account spending, Member Interest Groups, help and advice

Find out more

Where we refer to UKAS Accreditation

The Campden BRI group companies listed below are both accredited in accordance with the recognised International Standard ISO17025:2017 by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). The accreditation demonstrates technical competence for a defined scope of methods, specific to each site, as detailed in the schedules of accreditation bearing the testing laboratory number. The schedules may be revised from time to time and reissued by UKAS. The most recent issue of the schedules are available from the UKAS website www.ukas.com

Campden BRI (Chipping Campden) Limited is a UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 1079 Campden BRI (Nutfield) is a UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 1207

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