Microorganisms: environment

Microorganisms are present in a multitude of different places. They can already be present in food products (for example via raw ingredients) but may also contaminate products in the (production) environment. Potential sources of contamination are contact surfaces and surrounding air.

Contact surface 

During production, a key environmental threat is direct contact. Consider crates, boilers, conveyor belts, pipes where food is stored or transported, but also employees who touch products. In order to minimise this contamination from the environment, it is vital that materials are cleaned and disinfected efficiently and that proper hygiene practices are followed. Without proper programs in place, there is a risk that contamination involving a microbial load will remain on contact surfaces and, in certain cases, may even develop into a biofilm.

Monitoring the correct implementation and operation of an HACCP plan, whether this involves cleaning and disinfection or proper hygiene practices, is generally done by using a sample with Rodac imprint plates or swabs, both of which have specific advantages and disadvantages.

Microorganisms: environment in short

  • Monitoring the proper functioning of the HACCP plan
  • Certified according to ISO17025 (080-TEst BELAC)

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Rodac imprint plates  Swab
Rodac imprint plates  Swab
Not suitable for all surfaces Also for difficult-to-reach surfaces
Limited mechanical force Mechanical force
Standardisation Reduced standardised surface

Rodac imprint plates are generally used to determine the total bacterial count, yeasts and moulds and Enterobacteriaceae. Swabs are more widely used to detect pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes (but also Listeria spp.), Salmonella, STEC. If quick results are required (e.g. in case of an acute problem), a PCR method can be used.

Reliable assistance in carrying out microbiological analyses

Do you need help with microbiological analyses? Our specialists are happy to assist you further. Please contact us for more information.

Els Wauman

Technisch Commercieel Manager – Labo


Accredited laboratory

All microbiological analyses need to be carried out in a reliable manner. That is why we are ISO17025 accredited (080-TEst BELAC). We also have several other endorsements.

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