Food microbiology

The laboratory for the microbiology of animal source foods and animal feed is part of the laboratory array existing at the Kimron Veterinary Institute, which reports to the Director of the Veterinary Services at the Ministry of Agriculture. The laboratory’s role is the execution of microbiological testing for animal source foods.

Starting from 2001, the Veterinary Services and the Veterinary Institute operate in accordance with the ISO 9001 standard, after being examined and reviewed by the organizations authorized to do so. The process of receiving samples, the work in the laboratory and the publishing of results are all performed according to documented and controlled procedures.

The total count of aerobic microorganisms, the count of Coliform bacteria, and the isolation and identification of Salmonella are all performed in accordance with Israeli Standard 885 of July 1974. According to this standard all Salmonella isolations are transferred for confirmation and classification at the Salmonella reference laboratory at the Ministry of Health.

The microbiology laboratory is authorized according to the international standard ISO/IEC/17025 to perform the following testing methods:

·         Total count of aerobic microorganisms (in accordance with Israeli Standard 885 part 3).

·         Coliforms (in accordance with Israeli Standard 885 part 4).

·         ISO 6579 – Salmonella.

·         USDA MLG 4.05 – Salmonella.

·         The isolation and identification of Listeria Monotzitogenes using method USA MLG 8.09.

·         The isolation and identification of Listeria Monotzitogenes in products which do not contain meat FDA BAM CH.10.

·         The isolation and identification of Listeria Monotzitogenes in food products intended for human consumption ISO11290.

·         The isolation and identification of Listeria Monotzitogenes in food products intended for human consumption – rapid test VIDAS LM02 KIT.

·         Staphylococcus aureus SI885 part 6.

·         Staphylococcus aureus ISO 6888-1.

·         Count of Escherichia coli bacteria with positive Beta-Glokoronidaz activity ISO 16649-2.

·         Count of Escherichia coli bacteria with positive Beta-Glokoronidaz activity IS 885 part 12.

The laboratory is continuing the process which will end in its certification (for other methods) in accordance with the ISO 17025 standard by the Israeli Laboratory Accreditation Authority. In accordance with the requirements of this standard, the laboratory is taking part in controlled proficiency tests conducted by internationalorganizations, which it passes successfully.

In addition, the laboratory is annually tested by the US Department of Agriculture.

The laboratory has successfully passed a test conducted by the Multi-National Force’s food supervision unit; it has been certified to perform routine microbiological testing to all food types processed in order to be exported to the US, and to all the food supplies purchased in Israel for the Multi-National Force.

The microbiology laboratory is certified by the Ministry of Health in the field of food microbiology. In addition, the laboratory has successfully passed an inspection performed by the European Community checking the performance of microbiological tests according to the type of food (meat, fish and dairy products), and has been certified for the purpose of exporting animal source food from Israel to Europe.

The structure of the Laboratory:

The laboratory for the microbiology of animal source foods and animal feed employs two veterinary doctors, five microbiologists and a technical assistant. The director of the laboratory is Dr. Illana Miller, who is a veterinary doctor specializing in food microbiology.

The laboratory tests samples submitted by any organization requesting the service, who is responsible for the sampling process and the transfer of the sample to the institute. The testing is performed in accordance with the aforementioned standards after payment for the service has been made. The laboratory presents the sender only with the test’s findings, without offering further explanations.