Supporting troubleshooting and track and trace of contamination issues to ensure the microbial safety and quality of your food product and process, and to avoid spoilage 

Foodborne outbreaks of pathogens such as Listeria, SalmonellaBacillus cereus and many more can cause harm to your consumers, damage to your brands, and liability issues for your company. And while food spoilage due to unwanted bacteria may be less dangerous, it results in significant and costly food waste. 

When you have a suspected microbial contamination, you need full information. But all Listeria monocytogenes strains (for example) are not the same! Bacteria are very diverse living organisms, and even within species, different strains have very diverse characteristics and sources. 

You need to know: What is the specific species and strain contaminating your product? Has it been encountered before? Is the contaminating microbe pathogenic, strongly virulent, antibiotic-resistant, able to produce toxins, etc?  

In-depth insight into spoiler and pathogen identification and characterisation 

Using bacterial genome sequencing, NIZO gives you very specific insight into the microbe that is contaminating your product, its occurrence, and the level of danger. This high-level resolution identification can also help to resolve spoilage issues, and thereby reduce food waste.  

Going well beyond the question of “is it a dangerous pathogen or a harmless spoiler?”, we can provide more in-depth analysis of the root cause, enabling both troubleshooting, and track and trace. For example; is the microbe resident in the production line or present in ingredients or other sources? 

This identification also provides key insight you can use in optimising your production processes, to avoid a repeat of the contamination. 

NIZO can: 

  • Identify the bacterial species and strain, at the highest level of resolution 
  • Identify the characteristics of the strain: antibiotic-resistance, virulence, etc.
  • Differentiate the strain in your product from e.g., the strain identified in an outbreak 
  • Provide insight into the root causes of the contamination and potential preventative measures 
  • Use our bioinformatics and food safety expertise to interpret and make the data actionable
Any questions?

Martin Ham is happy to answer all your questions.

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