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Food for thought: EN ISO 11133:2014

20 June 2016  •  Author(s): Dr. Andreas Bubert & Barbara Gerten from Merck KGaA

Dr. Andreas Bubert, Senior Global Product Manager for Culture Media Food & Beverage, and Barbara Gerten, Senior Scientist Traditional Microbiology, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany (MilliporeSigma in the USA), discuss the new EN ISO 11133:2014 Quality-assured culture media for food and water testing to enhance consumer safety.

Food for thought: EN ISO 11133:2014

What is the new standard?

The one-part EN ISO 11133:2014, titled ‘Microbiology of food, animal feed and water – preparation, production, storage and performance testing of culture media’, was compiled by a joint ISO working group from food and water standardisation. It applies to culture media intended for the microbiological analysis of food for human consumption, animal feed, and samples from the manufacturing environment of such products, as well as water for consumption or use in food production. It covers all culture media formats, ranging from dehydrated and ready-to-use media for classical microbiological methods to media for alternative testing techniques.

What are the objectives of the standard?

There are two guiding principles in this standard: Media preparation and performance testing. For example, very practical guidance is provided for the testing of water quality for media preparation, pH adjustments, storage of prepared plates, tubes and bottles.

The second guiding principle is that performance testing conditions should resemble the intended sample testing conditions as closely as possible, leading to more accurate and meaningful results. As a consequence, culture media for quantitative testing must now be tested quantitatively, and those used in conjunction with membrane filters must be tested in combination with these filters.

Another objective is to specify the requirements in more detail and describe the practical aspects. Step-by-step instructions, complemented by flow charts, are provided for performing and evaluating performance tests. The standard contains comprehensive tables for the specifications for most culture media, not only for food but now for water microbiology as well…

Watch our follow up ISO 11133:2014 video taken at the IAFP 2016 with Dr. Andreas Bubert here.

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