05 Apr Maintain Your Food Safety Control During the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic
On Sunday 15th March, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a National State of Disaster to enable the government to introduce measures to fight the spread of COVID-19 within South Africa. At the time there were 51 cases, with that figure having increased to over 200 cases and counting.
COVID-19 shares susceptible target groups with many of the common foodborne pathogens, namely the immunocompromised and the elderly. Although the respiratory disease is primarily transmitted via person-to-person exposure, a strong immune system is required to fight the virus. Maintaining a strong immune system requires eating food that is healthy and free of pathogenic bacteria or any bacteria that could lead to illness.
In light of the serious situation, food manufacturers should increase their focus on maintaining product and personnel safety through monitoring of foodborne pathogens and hygiene safety indicators. Food safety remains vital following the recent Listeria outbreak which claimed more than 200 lives out of over 1000 people diagnosed during the 2017-2018 outbreak period. As a result of these tragic events, consumer standards and knowledge have increased, and food manufacturers need to practice due diligence when it comes to monitoring and maintaining food safety within their facility. In addition, monitoring the efficacy of hygiene and cleaning procedures will play an important role in limiting the spread of diseases and cross-contamination within the production facility.
Microchem has a dedicated food pathogen testing laboratory, with a team of vastly experienced microbiologists to perform pathogen testing and determination on a range of food products and ingredients. Our team of hygiene experts can assist with verifying that cleaning procedures are effective to safeguard consumers and production personnel.
Microchem tests a wide range of foodborne illness organisms including the following:
- Bacillus cereus
- Clostridium perfringens
- Listeria monocytogenes
- Pathogenic Escherichia coli 0157
- STEC (Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli) species
- Salmonella species
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio cholera
Microchem tests the following hygiene indicators to determine efficacy of cleaning:
- Escherichia coli
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Total plate counts
Our food microbiology team has both laboratory and production knowledge, enabling us to understand the pressures that are placed on food producers and manufacturers when it comes to food testing and food factory hygiene.
Please contact your Microchem Representative for more information about our testing and hygiene services.