How It Works: Faster and Safer Pathogen Testing of Composite Food Samples
Problem: With the prevalence of foodborne illness, rapid and accurate microbial monitoring of food and beverages is vital to consumer safety by ensuring that final products are contamination-free. Although pathogen enrichment with culture media is a critical part of any microbiological testing workflow, traditional preparation methods are time-consuming and require media handling by laboratory personnel, which can increase the risk of introducing contamination.
Additionally, pathogen testing of composite samples, which are bigger than traditional food samples, requires a larger amount of culture media before incubation. Preparation of media volumes, such as 3375 mL for 375 gram food samples, involves more time for weighing the media or autoclaving than with smaller samples. Autoclaving high volumes also significantly reduces the capacity of the autoclave, decreasing laboratory efficiency.
Solution: Readybag pouches with granulated culture media from EMD Millipore enable faster and safer pathogen testing in food samples and are designed to simplify and shorten the workflow of pathogen enrichment. The pouches reduce typical sample preparation time by more than 50 percent and performance tests confirm that Readybag media provides similar results compared to non-irradiated, autoclaved culture media. The pouches can be used for either Salmonella or Listeria.
The aluminum pouches are filled with preweighed and gamma-irradiated granulated culture media, which eliminates the need for upfront media preparation. Use of the pouches requires less labor than both high efficiency and traditional methods for sterile media creation. Autoclaving, weighing media, and handling supplements are no longer required. By eliminating media preparation, the Readybag pouches reduce complexity for the user and minimize the risk of contamination during the testing process.
The ISO EN 11133-compliant Readybag pouches are also available in larger sizes to enable convenient pathogen testing of composite food samples. The pouches reduce preparation and autoclaving time typically associated with preparing composite samples. Since autoclaving is no longer required, the autoclave can be used for other projects, improving laboratory efficiency. The pouches are newly available in 86 gram packs for testing of Salmonella in 375 g/mL samples and 63 gram packs for testing of Listeria in 125 g/mL samples as well as in packs for standard 25 g/mL samples.
The Readybag pouches have a shelf life of three years compared to three months for self-prepared media, reducing costs and waste associated with media storage. Readybag enrichment media come in a soluble granulated format, which increases safety in the laboratory environment. Unlike powdered media, Readybag enrichment media are compacted into small, uniform granules, reducing dust generation, dispersion, and the risk of inhalation of hazardous or toxic substances.
For more information about this product, visit www.emdmillipore.com.
This How It Works product appeared in the January/February 2016 issue of Controlled Environments.
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