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Brie Enterobacteriaceae and Coliforms


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#1 LILDANNY50

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 11:59 AM

Hi all, 

 

We are required by retailers to test Brie for Enterobacteriaceae and Coliforms however, we seem to almost always get high counts of these >1500 cfu. 

 

Now I understand they are indicator organisms so not so much a food safety risk, but more of lack of hygiene. 

 

My issue is we have used different suppliers for Brie, both samples we take cut and whole raw material and both turn up woth high Enterobacteriaceae and Coliforms counts several times. 

 

The suppliers don't seem to be bothered when we pressure them to investigate and we are confident it is not our site as other products are within spec for Enterobacteriaceae and Coliforms and the fact we have taken whole raw material samples with the same results. 

 

It just seems strange to have two different suppliers with two different bries using two different manufactoring sites would have the same issue? 

 

I do understand that sometimes the starter cultures used can cause issues with Enterobacteriaceae and Coliforms counts however, the retailers insist the tests are done. 

 

So is there any advice as to why this is happening with Brie? Or anyway to avoid it? 

 

Thank you.

 



#2 Brendan Triplett

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 12:46 PM

Hey Danny,

 

Could be a couple things.  First, have you had the water tested at the sites or done any site visits to see the conditions for operations?  Your coliforms work well with water and could be there.  Also, are you able to determine if your coliforms are fecal or non-fecal?  This could point you in the right direction for sanitation on site or during transportation to your facility.  Do you use the same company for transport?  Do they have records for sanitizing their trucks for bulk shipments?  I am assuming your enterobacteriaceae are not of the disease type so this could also be an indicator on the cleanliness of the livestock and the harvesting steps.  You may need to do some onsite visits and take some samples to test them yourself to be sure.  hopefully this gives you a place to look.

 

Cheers!


Director of Operations/Vice President and SQF Practitioner in Pennsylvania
Brendan Triplett


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#3 LILDANNY50

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 01:01 PM

Hi Brendan, 

 

Many thanks for your help, will look into that. 



#4 Charles.C

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 04:25 PM

Hi all, 

 

We are required by retailers to test Brie for Enterobacteriaceae and Coliforms however, we seem to almost always get high counts of these >1500 cfu. 

 

Now I understand they are indicator organisms so not so much a food safety risk, but more of lack of hygiene. 

 

My issue is we have used different suppliers for Brie, both samples we take cut and whole raw material and both turn up woth high Enterobacteriaceae and Coliforms counts several times. 

 

The suppliers don't seem to be bothered when we pressure them to investigate and we are confident it is not our site as other products are within spec for Enterobacteriaceae and Coliforms and the fact we have taken whole raw material samples with the same results. 

 

It just seems strange to have two different suppliers with two different bries using two different manufactoring sites would have the same issue? 

 

I do understand that sometimes the starter cultures used can cause issues with Enterobacteriaceae and Coliforms counts however, the retailers insist the tests are done. 

 

So is there any advice as to why this is happening with Brie? Or anyway to avoid it? 

 

Thank you.

 

Hi Lildanny,

 

As I understand Enterobacteriaceae typically includes coliforms, eg -

http://www.expressmi...iforms-enteros/

 

Is this pasteurized milk ?

 

What kind of data variation (ie range) do you get in coliform and EB values ?

 

what  is  procedure for coliforms - plate count or MPN ?

 

Also see the attached data for EB which may/may not be relevant -

 

Attached File  Enterobacteriaceae some RTE foods.PNG   65.45KB   1 downloads

(not my area but, as I understand, Brie is a ripened cheese ?)

 

PS - note that in an earlier (2000) edition of above data, "Borderline" was previously "acceptable", so much for semantics :smile:

 

PPS - also see this thread (particularly post 9 (GMO is knowledgeable on cheeses)) -

 

https://www.ifsqn.co...se/#entry111782


Edited by Charles.C, 20 February 2020 - 04:49 PM.
added

Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#5 LILDANNY50

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 04:44 PM

Hi Charles, 

 

Many thanks for the response. 

 

The milk is Pasteurised, the results always seem to be the same, from what I understand Ents and Coliforms are the same, however Colifroms digest Lactose? and the detection methods are different, but we are getting the same numbers for both on these particular samples. 

 

Many thanks for the attachement, may I ask the source of this? 

 

Brie is a soft mould ripened cheese. 

 

I have asked the creamery for their starter culture, awaiting their response, as I understand this could affect the results. 

 

But, my issue is, if the starter cultures of Brie could affect the results, why do the retailers insist on the tests for Ents and Coliforms for Brie. We still test for Listeria, E.coli, Salmonella and Staph as per their requirments - which is totally understandable - these have always come back within spec. 

 

I have asked the lab to confirm their method but I know they follow BS ISO 4832:2006. 

 

Many thanks again. 



#6 Charles.C

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 05:12 PM

Hi Charles, 

 

Many thanks for the response. 

 

The milk is Pasteurised, the results always seem to be the same, from what I understand Ents and Coliforms are the same, however Colifroms digest Lactose? and the detection methods are different, but we are getting the same numbers for both on these particular samples. 

 

Many thanks for the attachement, may I ask the source of this? 

 

Brie is a soft mould ripened cheese. 

 

I have asked the creamery for their starter culture, awaiting their response, as I understand this could affect the results. 

 

But, my issue is, if the starter cultures of Brie could affect the results, why do the retailers insist on the tests for Ents and Coliforms for Brie. We still test for Listeria, E.coli, Salmonella and Staph as per their requirments - which is totally understandable - these have always come back within spec. 

 

I have asked the lab to confirm their method but I know they follow BS ISO 4832:2006. 

 

Many thanks again. 

 

Hi Lildanny,

 

coliforms is an (very) old indicator. EB is "relatively" new and more common these days but depending somewhat on location, eg UK likes > USA afaik). My guess is the latter indicator just got added on.

 

In theory all coliforms should grow on EB media but latter also supports some more, eg -

https://www.merckmil...www.google.com/

 

the ref is from the attachment here -

 

https://www.ifsqn.co...se/#entry111867

(actually the data was "borrowed" from UK RTE guidelines)

 

afaik iso 4832 is a plate count method (popular due rapid results). IMEX (not cheese) the MPN method (more precise at low levels) may give lower results but is a lot slower. Regardless, yr (generic) E.coli data is anyway often more meaningful than coliform IMO (but perhaps cheese is an exception?)  - what "level" of result do you get for E.coli ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#7 LILDANNY50

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Posted 21 February 2020 - 08:44 AM

Hi Charles, 

 

Many thanks for all this help, it is appreciated. 

 

E.coli is coming in at <10 cfu/g so, I am happy the product is 'safe' as such, but more so a hygiene issue with the manufacturer I feel. 

 

Thanks. 






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