“Peel Plate CC and EC tests use traditional gram negative selective media with bacterial species specific color producing enzyme substrates and a 24-hour incubation,” Salter elaborates. “Coliforms produce easy to interpret red colonies, and E. coli blue colonies, that do not need additional confirmatory steps or difficult to interpret and time dependent gas production.”
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The Peel Plate EC test holds Performance Test Method (PTM) Status 061501 with the AOAC Research Institute for total coliform in dairy products tested at 32 degrees Celsius and for E. coli and coliform detection in water, surface rinses, environmental sponges, and foods such as ground meats, eggs, chocolate, and dry dog food tested at 35 degrees Celsius.
Peel Plate AC uses a red color indicator for aerobic bacteria growth in a 48-hour incubation. It holds PTM certificate 071501 for dairy products at 32 degrees Celsius and ground meats, eggs, chocolate, environmental sponges, and dry dog food tested at 35 degrees Celsius.
Peel Plate YM uses a blue/green indicator for yeast and mold growth in a 3- to 5-day incubation. It holds PTM certificate 061601 for fruit, juices, dairy, flour, tortillas, hummus, and environmental sponges.
Based on additional multi-laboratory reference method comparative data, the Peel Plate EC test and the Peel Plate AC test were voted in the 2015 National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments for inclusion into the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance governing U.S. milk testing requirements.
“Many of our customers are using Peel Plate tests to verify their sanitation and hygiene practices and to monitor and improve food product shelf life,” Salter notes. “They are competitively priced with other simple and ready to use microbial methods, saving time, skill, and labor required by the traditional microbial methods.”
The Colony Counter is a plug and play computer/camera/software that provides complete data management with a real-time print option, Salter points out. Date, time, operator, sample ID, test type, test matrix, count, sample dilution, calculated colonies/ml or gram product, raw plate image, and processed plate image are stored in folders and hyperlinked in a SQL database spreadsheet. Barcode scanning capability provides for a simple one button analysis.
“Onboard Ethernet enables real-time downloading to network SQL databases,” Salter says. “The images are saved as .jpeg files and are viewable at a later date. All data is reviewable by day, week, and month with the touch of a button. It provides for a simple integration with LIMS.
(Without the Peel Plate Counter, Peel Plate tests are scored based on visual counts of colonies, Salter notes. “Visual count is how the methods were compared to the reference methods—also visual—for the approvals,” he says.)
“Inasmuch as food companies are updating their microbial sanitation verification and their end product microbial monitoring programs to address the new Food Safety Modernization Act regulations, we believe the Peel Plate Counter is a valuable tool to assist in automated documentation and record keeping that will enable food production stakeholders to more easily meet audit and inspection requirements,” Salter adds.
Molecular Detection Chemistries
Roka Bioscience, Inc., Warren, N.J., stands out in many state-of-the-art food laboratories by offering differentiated molecular chemistries for pathogen detection. One such cutting-edge chemistry is target capture, Roka’s proprietary sample preparation method that is integrated into the company’s fully automated testing instrument called the Atlas System.
Simply stated, target capture uses highly specific nucleic acid hybridization to purify and concentrate only the target RNA of interest, according to W. Evan Chaney, PhD, Roka’s director of customer applications and microbiology.