Tag Archives: petrifilm

Tech Tip: Hydrating 3M™ Petrifilm™ Plates

 

Source: 3M

Source: 3M

When preparing 3M™ Petrifilm™ for use in your environmental monitoring program there are different hydration methods to follow, depending on the test and the context in which it is used.

For air or direct contact procedures where Aerobic Count, Coliform Count, E.coli/Coliform Count, Rapid Coliform Count or Enterobacteriaceae Count Petrifilm™ are being used, hydrate plates with 1 mL of appropriate sterile diluent. Allow hydrated plates to remain closed for a minimum of 1 hour before use.  If using Staph Express Count Petrifilm™, hydrate plates with 1 mL of appropriate sterile diluent. Refrigerate hydrated plates for a minimum of 3 days before using.

For air testing using either Yeast and Mold Count or Rapid S. aureus Count Petrifilm™, hydrate plates with 1 mL of appropriate sterile diluent. Allow hydrated plates to remain closed for a minimum of 1 hour before use.

For direct contact methods only using Yeast and Mold Count Petrifilm™, hydrate plates with 1 mL of sterile letheen broth only. Place letheen inoculated plates into sealed bag and incubate at 30-37°C (86-99°F) for 24 hours. After incubation, store sealed bag of plates in refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours to allow gel to solidify. Plates hydrated with letheen will have a mottled appearance.

If you prefer using the new Rapid Aerobic Count Petrifilm™ the hydration times are slightly longer for air or contact surface monitoring. Air sampling has a 24-hour minimum hydration period refrigerated. After hydration plates can be stored up to 7 days. Contact sampling has a 3-day minimum hydration period refrigerated. These plates may also be stored for 7 days after hydration.

Refer to relevant package insert for details and listing of appropriate diluents.

For storage purposes, place all hydrated Petrifilm™ in sealed pouch or plastic bag. Protect plates from light and refrigerate at 2-8°C (36-46°F). Hydrated Petrifilm™ Aerobic Count plates may be refrigerated up to 14 days, all other hydrated Petrifilm™ plates may be refrigerated up to 7 days.

To see the variety of Petrifilm™ available, see our website.

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An Aerobic Workout…In Your Food Operation

Source: CDC

Source: CDC

Aerobic bacteria (bacteria that require oxygen to live and thrive), like you and I, appreciate a chance to take a breath and reflect on plans for the future.  Single-cell life isn’t so easy, after all! Aerobic bacteria may wonder,” what will happen when I grow up/divide?” and, “Should I go into spoilage or perhaps foodborne illness?” Whatever the case, they sure are busy!

Their oxygen-loving (to merely tolerating) ways make them a desirable key target in the fight against contamination and product spoilage. Opposed to isolating and identifying specific aerobic bacteria, Aerobic Plate Count (APC) tests are utilized as general indicators of the presence of aerobic bacteria. Counting these aerobic colonies, as R. Dale Morton explains in the Compendium of Methods for the Microbiological Examination of Foods 4th Ed., “can be used successfully to gauge sanitary quality, organoleptic acceptability, adherence to good manufacturing practices and, to a lesser extent as an indicator of safety” (63).

Nelson-Jameson handles an array of APC products, including the recently launched 3M Petrifilm Rapid Aerobic Count Plates. The product “facilitates colony enumeration in just 24 hours for most food matrices / environmental samples and resists distortion caused by spreader colonies.”

To learn more about aerobic bacteria click here. For more information on APC products, including the new 3M Petrifilm Rapid Aerobic Count Plates email Jessica Goessl, Technical Sales Manager – Laboratory or call 800-826-8302.

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Are You Bringing the Right Plate to the Table?

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Source: 3M

“You could also ask who’s in charge. Lots of people think, well, we’re humans; we’re the most intelligent and accomplished species; we’re in charge. Bacteria may have a different outlook: more bacteria live and work in one linear centimeter of your lower colon than all the humans who have ever lived. That’s what’s going on in your digestive tract right now. Are we in charge, or are we simply hosts for bacteria? It all depends on your outlook.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier.

As funny as that may sound and as puzzling as it may be to think about, it is true. Bacteria are everywhere; most of them are good and normal and are absolutely necessary for the maintenance of our health, environment, and well-being. They are responsible for some of the best things (in my book) in life…like cheese, beer, and wine. But when the wrong bacteria get into our food supply, the results can be disastrous.

Historically, testing for the presence of what is known as an indicator organism in our water and food supply, has played a significant role in the food industry. These levels are monitored as indicators of food quality, food safety, and a marker of the overall hygienic status of the production facility. E.coli, Coliforms, and Enterobacteriaceae are three indicators that have been, and are currently used in the industry.

In 1887 a well-known bacteriologist, Theodor Escherich, observed a pervasiveness of organisms now known as Esherichia in human stools. Later, E.coli and other organisms were used to indicate the potential presence of pathogens in water. In 1915, the U.S. Public Health service changed this standard indicator from E.coli to Coliforms. Using E.coli and Coliforms as indicators of water safety and quality eventually spread to testing for these organisms in other foods. First, pasteurized milk and dairy products were tested and then an array of other foods followed.

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At Yeast We Can Mold the Future

The food industry surely sees its share of yeast and mold concerns.   Both are relentless aggressors in food deterioration and spoilage that: “can invade and grow on virtually any type of food at any time; they invade crops such as grains, nuts, beans, and fruits in fields before harvesting and during storage. They also grow on processed foods and food mixturespetrifilm.”

Not only can the presence of yeast and mold compromise your product but they sometimes also make people sick.

So, how do we control unwanted yeast and mold when it comes to our food supply?   Obviously, industry innovations targeted at inhibiting yeast and mold growth have done a great deal for quality assurance and producers’ bottom lines.

Yet, peace of mind might be much more difficult to come by than a piece of moldy food in your operation.   Even with such preventative measures in place, yeast and mold still cause issues and are wont to show up anywhere at any time.  This provides a great deal of frustration to food producers, as their equipment, the facility, and the foods produced are all susceptible.  Consumers, naturally, can grow weary when yeast and mold compromise their latest purchase at the supermarket.

Thankfully, the industry continues to research methods to minimize the waste and possible ill health effects generated by yeast and mold issues.   For example, 3M recently introduced a new line of defense in this battle against yeast and mold: 3M™ Petrifilm™ Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plates.

Instead of waiting on traditional agar methods, which may take up to five days to incubate, the new Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plates provide results in 48-hours, allowing for more oversight of incoming ingredients and finished products leaving food facilities.  You can check out 3M’s Petrifilm™ Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plates in 50-count boxes here or 500-count cases here.

Nelson-Jameson is continuously searching out new methods and products, like the 3M Petrifilm™ Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plates, to ensure food safety and integrity.  Keep checking back here for more updates on food safety and quality issues, including a host of innovative solutions that target food quality and safety concerns.

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Keeping it Clean with FSMA

j0444789A large part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) focuses on prevention when it comes to controlling our food supply. The steps to preventing foodborne diseases, according to FDA, on the part of the manufacturer, involve evaluating the hazards, specifying preventative steps, monitoring, and correcting problems that may arise.

An aid in reducing hazards is disinfection, cleaning and sanitation. Food Quality & Safety published an article in November 2013, titled “Keep It Clean” that takes a deeper look at the role of disinfectants and sanitizing solutions in FSMA implementation. While there are a few different methods of disinfection, we provide products for chemical disinfection:

Chlorine Sanitizers

Iodine Sanitizers

Quaternary Ammonium (QUATS)

Once a surface has been disinfected, verification will need to take place, which takes care of the monitoring part. A method of verification used prior to sanitation mentioned in the article is adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence. Our Laboratory & QA/QC product line offers a variety of items that can aid in verification: 3M™ Clean-Trace™ NG Luminometer3M™ Clean-Trace™ Surface ATP Test.

According to the article, ATP does not correlate with micro counts, therefore swabbing and the use of petrifilm is recommended. We feature the following items for swabbing and petrifilm: 3M™ Petrifilm™ Plates & Accessories3M™ Quick Swabs3M™ Hydra-Sponges, and 3M™ Sponge-Sticks.

We are a team when it comes to food safety, you can count on Nelson-Jameson to provide quality products that aid in FSMA implementation. For more information on FSMA, see the FDA website.

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