Detecting Pathogens in Food
edited by Thomas A. McMeekin

Detecting pathogens in food brings together a distinguished international team of experts to review the latest techniques in microbiological analysis and how they can best be used to ensure food safety.

Part 1 looks at general issues, beginning with a review of the role of microbiological analysis in food safety management. There are also chapters on the critical issues of what to sample and how samples should be prepared to make analysis effective, as well as how to validate individual detection techniques and assure the quality of analytical laboratories.

Part 2 discusses the range of detection techniques now available, beginning with traditional culture methods. There are chapters on electrical methods, ATP bioluminescence, microscopy techniques and the wide range of immunological methods such as ELISAs. Two chapters look at the exciting developments in genetic techniques, the use of biosensors and applied systematics.



  1. Microbiological analysis and food safety management: GMP and HACCP systems

    • Food safety management systems
    • Types of testing used in GMP and HACCP systems
    • Microbiological analysis and GMP systems
    • Microbiological analysis and HACCP systems

  2. Sampling techniques

    • Common definitions
    • The purpose of sampling
    • Sampling and the problem of pathogen distribution
    • Acceptance sampling when the history of the material is not known
    • Acceptance sampling when the history of the material is known
    • Environmental sampling and tightened inspection/skip lot sampling
    • Taking samples
    • Maximising the value of test results

  3. Separation and concentration of samples

    • The need for separation and concentration
    • General approaches to removal, separation and detection
    • 'Primary' microbial removal methods
    • Separation and concentration of cells once they have been removed

  4. Validating detection techniques

    • Definition of performance characteristics
    • Validation protocols
    • The application of validation schemes: immunological methods
    • The application of validation schemes: molecular methods
    • The use of validated methods in accredited laboratories

  5. Quality assurance

    • Legislation and codes of practice
    • Legislation in the EU
    • The Codex Alimentarius Commission
    • The UK Food Standards Agency
    • Quality assurance requirements: accreditation
    • Internal quality control
    • Proficiency testing
    • Quality assurance requirements: analytical methods
    • Criteria for valid methods of analysis
    • Appendix: The ISO/IUPAC/AOAC International Harmonised Protocol for Proficiency Testing of Analytical Laboratories

  1. Culture methods

    • Culture medium design
    • Culture method design
    • Examples of qualitative methods
    • Examples of commercial kits

  2. Electrical methods

    • Principles
    • Instruments
    • Data presentation
    • Pathogen assays: introduction
    • Assays for Salmonella
    • Assays for Enterobactericeae, Escherichia coli and coliforms
    • Assays for other pathogens
    • Accreditation of electrical methods

  3. ATP bioluminescence

    • Principles of ATP bioluminescent assay
    • Assay for testing the total bacterial count of food products
    • The use of assays for particular foods
    • The use of assays for hygiene monitoring
    • The use of assays to detect particular pathogens
    • Instrumentation

  4. Microscopy techniques: DEFT and flow cytometry

    • Stains, fluorochromes and probes
    • Microscopy
    • The direct epiflourescent filter technique (DEFT)
    • Flow cytometry
    • Comparing detection techniques and future trends

  5. Immunological techniques: immunochromatography, enzyme linked immonoflourescent assays and agglunination techniques

    • Immunochromatography: lateral flow devices
    • Enzyme linked flourescent assays (ELFA)
    • Agglutination tests

  6. Immunological techniques: ELISA

    • The basic principles of an enzyme linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA)
    • ELISA formats
    • Commercially-available ELISAs
    • Advantages and disadvantages in using ELISAs

  7. Genetic techniques: PCR, NASBA, hybridisation and microarrays,p>
    • Introduction: the polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
    • Nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA), hybridisation and microarrays
    • Key principles
    • Applications for particular pathogens and foods
    • Advantages and disadvantages
    • Examples of commercial kits

  8. Genetic techniques: molecular subtyping methods

    • Approaches to molecular subtyping
    • PCR-based techniques
    • AFLP analysis and emerging methods
    • Standardised molecular subtyping of pathogens
    • Interpreting molecular subtyping data
    • The future of molecular subtyping

  9. New biosensors for microbiological analysis of food

    • Transducers used in biosensors and immunosensors
    • Biosensors used to detect Salmonella
    • Biosensors used to detect Staphylococcus aureus
    • Biosensors used to detect Escherichia coli
    • Biosensors used to detect algal toxins and aflatoxin
    • DNA biosensors
    • Detecting microbiological spoilage

  10. The use of applied systematics to identify foodborne pathogens

    • Identification based on morphological, physiological and biochemical characteristics
    • Identification based on chemotaxonomy
    • Identification based on genetic information
    • Applications: identifying the genus Aeromonas
    • Applications: identifying the genus Bacillus
    • Applications: identifying the genus Campylobacter
    • Detecting virulence factors in foodborne pathogenic bacteria


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Detecting Pathogens in Food
edited by Thomas A. McMeekin
2003 • 384 pages • $288.95 + shipping
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