PCR for Food Industry – In microbiological laboratory testing, a faster testing method is needed to detect pathogenic microbes in food products. Food safety analysis is very important to ensure the quality of food products before distributed to the market. Therefore, testing for microbiological contamination of food products is very important and must be a fast and efficient method. The food producers must pay attention to the quality of the products they produce and must not forget to improve its product quality. Ensuring products are free from microbiological contamination is also an effort to improve quality. There are several testing methods commonly used to test microbes in food. One of them is the PCR method. Can PCR test also be used in the food industry?
What is Salmonella Food Poisoning? – Seafood is one of the food products that contains essential nutrients that are beneficial to our bodies, but spoiled seafood can bring risk to consumers. The presence of pathogenic bacteria that contaminate the fishery and food products can damage the nutritional content in these products. It can actually cause health problems. One of the pathogenic bacteria that can contaminate fishery and food products is Salmonella. According to Burhanudin, Salmonella bacteria in fish can affect several aspects such as: product quality, deterioration of fishery quality and safety in consuming it. Salmonella bacteria are a pathogenic bacterium that can cause disease in humans. Due to the cases of Salmonella food poisoning, the FDA has implemented a detention block for imports of fishery products that contain Salmonella bacteria. Food products that are contaminated with Salmonella will certainly cause Salmonella food poisoning.
Cross contamination of seafood – Like other food products, seafood also contains bacteria and viruses that cause diseases. Microorganism that causes diseases can come from a variety of conditions including the environment, water contamination or cross contamination. There are many causes of contamination in seafood such as when shipping the food processing equipment, dismantling & ensemble food processing equipment.
How to process seafood is important in reducing the risk of poisoning, especially when consuming raw seafood. Apart from proper processing, cross-contamination of seafood can be prevented through good sanitation and good seafood handling as well. Improper handling of seafood products will certainly make it easy to cross-contaminate. You can read our latest article about type of cross contamination here, So, what causes the cross-contamination in seafood?
The Importance of Food Laboratory – Food safety is an important factor that must be considered. Food manufacturers must pay attention to the food safety of their products. This effort is to ensure the safety of customers & potential consumers. Food poisoning cases that occurred can be lessons for manufacturers to improve the wholesomeness of their products. This is because whenever there are food poisoning cases, normally there’d be temporary closure of outlets or products recall from the market.
Salmonella detection with PCR – Salmonella is one of the bacteria that causes food poisoning. Salmonella infection can cause severe illness to infants, the elderlies and individuals with compromised immune systems. Eating food that are contaminated with bacteria will certainly cause infection in the human body. Sources of Salmonella contaminants can come from seafood, dairy products, fresh produce, pet food and food contaminated in processing process.
Seafood products are very susceptible to Salmonella contamination. Seafood generally contains protein, so it can be a preferred medium for the growth of harmful bacteria such as Salmonella. Bad handling will increase product contamination. If the seafood product that you’re going to distribute contains Salmonella contamination, it will certainly hinder your sales and reduce your customers’ confidence. Consumers who consume seafood that has been contaminated with Salmonella will get several symptoms such as diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, headaches and nausea. To reduce the possibility of poisoning due to consumption of contaminated seafood, it is necessary to have good handling and rapid detection of Salmonella contamination in raw and processed seafood before it reaches the market. Then, what is the quick method for detecting Salmonella in seafood?
Food microbiology testing service – Microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi or viruses can contaminate food at any time. It could pose a risk to consumers. It is important for food producers or consumers to monitor for harmful organisms in their food products. Microorganisms are small creatures, so it is difficult for us to see them directly. They also also in natural environments such as water, soil, air and others. We could find microorganisms naturally in food or on the surface of food for example on fresh vegetables. Then, is it necessary to detect for microorganisms in food products?
Seafood safety overview – Seafood is the kind of food that has a potential risk of bacterial contamination, toxins and chemical contamination. According to Seafood Safety Most of the current health risks associated with seafood safety come from the environment and it must be addressed with control.
Seafood Safety Overview ( Understand the potensial risk )
The following are the seafood safety issues that we need to understand about the potential risks and how to minimize them:
Veratox Histamine – One of the defining qualities in the food industry, especially fish, is the content of histamine. As we already know, histamine is a toxic chemical. Fish that are not fresh in quality will cause histamine levels to rise. The higher the damage to the fish, the more histamine is forming. So, it is necessary to have a histamine test on the fish before exporting. Histamine is not damaged in the cooking process. Therefore, it is necessary to do prevention at the raw material stage.
To protect consumers from histamine poisoning, each country that imports fish sets a safe standard for histamine levels. The safe limit standard for histamine concentration in Europe is 100 ppm and America is 50 ppm. Excess levels of histamine in the body will trigger an allergic reaction. At level of histamine above 200-500 ppm it can cause poisoning. So, why is it necessary to test histamine before exporting fish?
Types of cross contamination – Cross contamination is the transfer of bacteria or microorganisms from one substance to another. Other types of cross contamination include transfer of food allergens, chemicals, or toxins. According to WHO, an estimated 600 million people fall ill and 420,000 people die each year after consuming contaminated food. Cross contamination is one of the factors that causes food poisoning.
Anyone can experience cross contamination. However, there are several groups that are most vulnerable to experiencing it. Namely:
Children under 5
Adults over 65 years of age
Those with weakened immune systems – for example, people with HIV / AIDS, uncontrolled diabetes, or cancer
Cross contamination of food may occur during food processing, transport, storage and distribution of food. We must really pay attention to what we consume. So, what are the types of cross-contamination of food?
PCR test for food testing – Are you a food exporter? If you are, there are several problems that you should pay attention to as those problems could hinder your export activity. In the food industry, it is quite easy for foods to be contaminated with dangerous pathogenic bacteria. Before exporting food to the destination country, you must do laboratory testing for your food product. Because of the existing food poisoning cases, many countries are creating regulations for food importers to follow. These regulations would become guidelines for the importers to monitor the food safety or quality of the foods they import.
Food poisoning cases occur when human to consume food products that have been contaminated with pathogenic microbes, for example Salmonella spp. To anticipate these cases, it is necessary to do a rapid food testing. Meanwhile, the conventional method of microbiology incubation/testing takes more than 7 days. According to research of Dadang the conventional method has weaknesses and limitations, namely that it takes more than 7 days to complete. However, with the fast technology development in microbiology, Real Time PCR method has become a fast and specific alternative method in food testing. So, what is the Real Time PCR method?