Through a notice date March 7, 2017, the FSSAI has asked for comments, suggestions and objections from stake holders on microbiological testing of meat and meat products and fish and fish products. The FSSAI has asked for comments only for meat and meat products and fish and fish products because when the microbiological manual was uploaded in September 2016 the ‘Manual for Meat & Meat Products and Fish & Fish Products’ was not uploaded. Stakeholders may send their comments and suggestions in the format provided, along with supporting scientific evidence, to the FSSAI within 30 days from 7 March 2017.
The microbiological manual provides guidelines for the microbiological methods to be used. The individual testing methods will have more details but the generalised steps for various microbiological testing methods are as follows
- analysis of various foods
- media/ culture medium/reagents
- procedure to be adopted for the analysis
- preparation of food homogenate/pour plating/test sample
- Dilution/incubation /inoculations
- Counting colonies/plate counting techniques
- Reporting/expression of result
The manual outlines the methods to be used for the
- Detection and determination of Bacillus cereus in Foods, and Beverages or determination of aerobic mesophillic spores in Foods and Beverages
- Detection and determination of Anaerobic Mesophilic Spore formers (Clostridium perfringens)
- Detection, determination and confirmation of Coliforms and Escherichia coli in Foods and Beverages
- Direct Microscopic Count in Tomato Puree, Sauce, Paste, Chutney
- Fermentation Test (Incubation test for Cans, Tetra packs, Standy pouches).
- Detection and confirmation of Salmonella species in foods and beverages used for
- Detection and Confirmation of Shigella species foods and beverages.
- Detection, Determination and Confirmation of Staphylococcus aureus (Coagulase positive).
- Detection and Confirmation of Vibrio cholera in Foods and Beverages.
- Detection and Confirmation of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in foods
- Estimation of Yeasts and Moulds in Foods and Beverages
- Detection and confirmation of Listeria monocytogenes in Food
- Isolation, Identification and confirmation of Campylobacter jejuni here special attention has to be paid to sample preparation as preparation are separate for lobster, tail, crab claws, whole meat carcass, Liquid egg yolk or whole egg mixture, shucked shellfish, water, swabs, milk and frozen products, ice-cream, cheese. The Microbiological Manual also gives detailed guidelines for the procedure for Isolation, identification and confirmation in this category of testing methods.
Meat and meat products
The official analytical methods for microbiological testing of meat and meat products is as follows
Samples of meat and meat products can be collected following specified methods of Indian standards viz. IS/ISO 3100-1:1991 (Meat and Meat Products- method of sampling) and IS 15478: Part 2: 2004 (Meat and Meat Products- Sampling and preparation of test samples or by Preparation of test samples for microbiological test samples.
The next steps are as follows
- Enumeration Total Viable Count (TPC) / Aerobic Plate Count (APC)
- Carry out tests for Staphylococcus aureus, E coli: Salmonella: Faecal Coliform, Clostridium species, yeasts and moulds, Pseudomonas species as mentioned in the microbiological manual.
- Meats and meats products have to be tested for determination of toxins like Shiga and Clostridium Botulinum
Detailed guidelines have been given for culture media and preparation of plates, equipment, materials and glassware to be used. One chapter in the manual is also devoted to biochemical tests.