9 keys to correctly interpret food samples

1) All this parameters correspond to bacteria. This means that it is necessary to get sick eating spoiled food (spread person-person spreading will not happen).


2) Foods may contain certain bacterial level. Indeed fermentation processes of microorganisms such as yeast (a fungus) is used in the production of food (wine, cheese) has been standardized, also mentioning the commercialization of milk fortified with bifidobacteria). This level of acceptance is set out in EU Regulation 2073/2005.


3) The level of acceptance is different to cooked and uncooked food. The explanation is that cooking over 65 ° C held for more than two minutes destroys most microorganisms in the food, therefore, a high level of microbial growth in food that has been cooked denotes a poor handling or processing.

For generic indicators such as Aerobic mesophiles, enterobacteria or Escherichia coli, it is allowed to find more bacteria in raw foods rather than in cooked ítems.




Límit NOT cooked

Limit cooked

Aerobios mesófilos

100,000 UFC/g

10,000 UFC / g


1,000 UFC/g

10 UFC / g

Escherichia coli

10 UFC

Absence / g

Staphylococcus aureus

10 UFC / g

10 UFC / g

Salmonella sp

Absence / 25g

Absence / 25g

Listeria monocytogenes

100 UFC / g

100 UFC / g

4) Aerobic mesophilic is a generic identification of all microorganisms (including molds, yeasts and bacteria) growing at 30 ° C.


5) Enterobacteriaceae is made up by a family of over 100 species which have in common that part of the intestinal flora of animals, including man. This is another generic marker. Includes Escherichia coli, and Salmonella sp.


6) Escherichia coli is a ubiquitous extraordinarily enterobacteria, form part of the gut flora of mammals. A lot of different varieties of this bacteria, some are beneficial and yet there are highly virulent strains such as O157: H7 has caused hemorragic diarrhea outbreaks associated with the consumption of poorly cooked Burger meat. They are also responsible for urinary tract infections.


7) Staphylococcus aureus, is a bacteria present in 1/3 of human’s healthy skin and mucous membranes (mouth, nose, wounds). Therefore it is known as the disease of the manipulators. Causes a very acute gastroenteritis (with very violent vomiting) since, within the organism synthesizes a heat-stable toxin (not destroyed by cooking food). Its presence in food can denote improper handling.


8) Salmonella sp. is a bacteria that accesses the raw flesh of animals and especially chicken and eggs at the time of cutting, when contact with the intestinal tract meat. Also present in vegetables and crawling vegetables (use of manure). It is destroyed by a normal cooking or a solution of between 50 and 150 mg / l of free residual chlorine in the case of plants. Their presence in cooked foods due to poor cooking or cross contamination (utensils in direct / indirect contact with traces of the bacteria).


9) Listeria monocytogenes is one of the most virulent food-borne infections with alítisima mortality (20-30%), fortunately its frequency is very low. Milk and vegetables without disinfection have been identified as responsible for some outbreaks.
HS Consulting Team