I'm reaching out to all the micro experts out there for some advice. My background before food safety is toxicology so I have some basic understanding and exposure to microbiology testing.
I would like to increase our biological/environmental monitoring at our facility and am looking for [SAFE] testing that can be completed without a micro lab. I am aware of ATP monitoring but wondered what else is available?
Any and all resources are appreciated, especially research articles.
Thanks in Advance!
I suggest yr OP should have included the word "safe", eg as above.
I deduce that you still wish to microbiologically monitor, eg obtain results for items such as APC, Moulds, Pathogens ? Qualitative / Quantitative ?
Did you mean without an in-house micro lab or no labs at all ? (Some people use internal sampling + external lab).
This is one suggested solution for "safe" EMP monitoring -.
In-house testing: In-house laboratories may provide convenience, time and cost savings. However, if
samples need to be enriched that would result in the proliferation of Listeria spp. or monocytogenes, in-
house testing should be avoided. Most tests require some level of enrichment, which may inadvertently
become a source of contamination of the production area. In these cases, unless the laboratory has
extraordinary controls to prevent such opportunities for contamination, or no other options are available, it
is usually not worth the risk. Test kits are now available that do not require sample enrichment. These
methods are much more suitable to in-house testing. Companies will want to be aware of the false
positive and false negative rates, as well as the limit of detection, associated with more rapid test kits
Listeria EMP for Fresh Produce Industry.pdf 1.83MB
Caveats such as above may be usefully (negatively?) applied to these examples of commercially available kits -
EMP monitoring for restaurants.pdf 1.02MB
(I did note that the identification of specific microorganisms is not recommended)
ATP data for foods has occasionally been usable to predict APC values via Calibration graphs but such correlations are typically not validatable. I don't recall seeing any similar applications for EMP.
Potential safety aspects of routinely using internal micro. kits without any lab have been previously discussed/debated on this forum.