This proficiency test is qualitative and addresses your testing ability within the detection of the pathogen Escherichia coli O157 in soft cheese.
VTEC are a group of bacteria which cause illness in humans, of which E. coli O157 is a prevalent strain. It is therefore imperative to highlight any high levels of this bacterial group within foodstuffs to reduce any risks to the consumer associated with certain foodstuffs.
Soft cheese can be at high risk of bacterial contamination due to the nature of the manufacturing process. Utilising a range of bacteria to create the desired taste and appearance of this soft cheese there is a significant risk of contamination due to the conditions created within manufacture. As such, your ability to highlight and quantify specific bacteria species is integral to maintain a high quality, safe foodstuff being offered to consumers.
Microbiological contamination of food can cause a range of sickness symptoms, the most extreme of which can result in hospitalisation, contamination can also cause food spoilage. Contamination can result from raw ingredients, poor sanitation or hygiene practices, or inappropriate storage conditions. Our Food Microbiology proficiency test samples combine the test organisms into real food matrices or swabs, together with background flora to fully represent real-world samples.