Microbiological Analysis of Food and Water. Guidelines for Quality Assurance
by N. F. Lightfoot
Edition: 1st., 1998
In 1986, the European Commission began to support research and development activities in the field of microbiological measurements.
Within the BCR (Community Bureau of Reference), and later within the Measurement and Testing Programme (M & T Programme), several
projects were launched which covered various aspects of food and water microbiology.
The main objectives of these projects were to develop adequate tools for the validation of microbiological measurement and testing methods. Two projects — food and water microbiology — included the development of representative and stable reference materials, and involved more than one hundred laboratories from the European Union in interlaboratory studies. Fundamental research on the behaviour of microbes in spray-dried milk powder was undertaken. Measurement methods and statistical treatment tools were developed to assess the homogeneity and stability of these reference materials, and the results led to the development of several reference materials used in European-wide interlaboratory studies. Several bacterial strains were studied in food (salmonella, listeria, B. cereus, S. aureus, C. perfringens, E. coli) and water (E. faecium, E. cloacae, E. coli, salmonella and C. perfringens). For each of the studied microbes, several methods of measurement or testing were compared. Quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) items have been developed.