Service overview of our microbiological laboratories

The labo­ra­tory network of the Tentamus Group offers its customers the following services in the industry of microbiology:

  • Micro­bi­o­log­ical testing in accor­dance with Regu­la­tion (EC) No. 2073
  • Deter­mi­na­tion of the micro­bi­o­log­ical status of food, as well as detec­tion of path­o­genic germs such as Salmo­nella, Listeria mono­cy­to­genes and Campy­lobacter
  • Rapid methods (Vidas) for Salmo­nella and Listeria mono­cy­to­genes
    Perfor­mance of follow-up tests to deter­mine or check compli­ance with the best-before date (BBD) or the use-by date
  • Micro­bi­o­log­ical incoming goods inspec­tions for animal or plant raw mate­rials or semi-finished products
  • Micro­bi­o­log­ical inspec­tion of the cleaning and disin­fec­tion status of equip­ment and surfaces
  • Sampling and testing of drinking water in accor­dance with the Drinking Water Ordi­nance for e.g. Legionella, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aerug­i­nosa
  • Micro­bi­o­log­ical exam­i­na­tion of cooling tower water
  • Pest infes­ta­tion of dried fruits and nuts
  • Veri­fi­ca­tion of the desig­nated trade classes for fresh and frozen poultry and eggs
  • Testing of eggs for fresh­ness by means of air chamber height, yolk index and Haugh units
  • Micro­bi­o­log­ical cosmetic testing according to ISO methods and the Euro­pean Pharmacopoeia
  • Preser­va­tion stress tests
  • Testing of non-sterile phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals according to Euro­pean Phar­ma­copoeia and GMP regulations
  • Antibac­te­rial activity of honey
  • Testing of living biotherapeutics
  • Pyrogen deter­mi­na­tions
  • Deter­mi­na­tion of genotoxicity
  • Purity testing of bacte­rial cell banks

Microbiological
testing of food and food supplements

Food­stuffs repre­sent a focal point for micro­bi­o­log­ical inves­ti­ga­tions. With few excep­tions, microor­gan­isms in food are unde­sir­able because they can cause food to spoil and some­times lead to health hazards and illness for consumers. Food busi­ness oper­a­tors must there­fore take measures to prevent cont­a­m­i­na­tion of food with microor­gan­isms during produc­tion and processing. This includes hygiene concepts according to the HACCP proce­dure (hazard analysis and crit­ical control points) and the commis­sioning of a micro­bi­o­log­ical labo­ra­tory, as well as the deploy­ment of well-trained personnel.

Please find further infor­ma­tion about food safety in our blog articles:

Microbiological
testing of drinking water

Strict regu­la­tory require­ments are set for drinking water not only with regard to substance-related limit values such as nitrate, nitrite, fluo­ride or lead, but also with regard to microor­gan­isms. For example, the Infec­tion Protec­tion Act and the Drinking Water Ordi­nance stip­u­late that drinking water must not contain any pathogens in concen­tra­tions that could endanger human health.”

In routine drinking water moni­toring by micro­bi­o­log­ical labo­ra­to­ries, evidence is there­fore provided by so-called indi­cator organ­isms” for fecal cont­a­m­i­na­tion, such as Escherichia coli or ente­ro­cocci, in the water sample.

If these numer­i­cally very common germs cannot be detected in a sample, it can be assumed that the less common but poten­tially more dangerous microor­gan­isms are also not present in the sample.

Drinking water testing for legionella

In addi­tion to micro­bi­o­log­ical testing for fecal cont­a­m­i­na­tion, testing for Legionella is another focus of drinking water analysis and moni­toring. Legionella is a consid­er­able health hazard, espe­cially for immuno­com­pro­mised persons. The disease caused (“Legion­naires’ disease”, legionel­losis) can be fatal.

Legionella are trans­mitted by droplets. Infec­tion occurs when they are inhaled in high numbers, e.g. through water vapor. Micro­bi­o­log­ical testing for Legionella is there­fore required by law for the drinking water instal­la­tions of many facil­i­ties. These include facil­i­ties that operate a large-scale system for heating drinking water, dispense drinking water as part of commer­cial or public activ­i­ties, and where there are showers or other facil­i­ties for misting water. Such facil­i­ties include, but are not limited to, resi­dences, hospi­tals, swim­ming pools, schools, and hotels.

However, oper­a­tors of cooling towers, evap­o­ra­tive cooling systems and wet sepa­ra­tors are also subject to exten­sive noti­fi­ca­tion and moni­toring oblig­a­tions with regard to legionella in order to operate their facilities.

Just like food and drinking water, dietary supple­ments, cosmetics as well as phar­ma­ceu­tical prod­ucts can be subject of micro­bi­o­log­ical testing.

Microbiological
testing of cosmetic products

Cosmetic prod­ucts must be safe and harm­less to health from the time they are placed on the market until they are used by the customer. The Euro­pean Cosmetics Regu­la­tion VO (EG) 1223/2009 sets the legal frame­work for this. This health safety also includes the micro­bi­o­log­ical quality of a product. ISO 17516, the state of the art, spec­i­fies limit values for this.

In order to main­tain suffi­cient micro­bi­o­log­ical product quality, it is neces­sary to estab­lish a so-called micro­bi­o­log­ical quality manage­ment (MQM) in the plants. Compo­nents of a MQM are the indus­tries research & devel­op­ment, indus­trial hygiene as well as quality control (QC).

Micro­bi­o­log­ical tests are required in all indus­tries. These include:

  • Control of the micro­bi­o­log­ical status
    • Exam­i­na­tions according to ISO standards
    • Exam­i­na­tion by rapid method: results aerobic microor­gan­isms and yeasts/​molds within 3 days
    • Total number of aerobic microorganisms/​g
    • total number of yeasts and molds/​g
    • spec­i­fied microor­gan­isms (P. aerug­i­nosa, E. coli, S. aureus, C. albi­cans) in 1 g
    • non-spec­i­fied microor­gan­isms such as Plural­ibacter gergoviae, Burk­holderia cepacia etc.
  • Preser­va­tion load tests
    • DIN EN ISO 11930
    • Method of the Euro­pean Phar­ma­copoeia (Ph.Eur.5.1.3)
    • Method of the Amer­ican Phar­ma­copoeia (USP)
    • Customized spec­i­fi­ca­tions and microorganisms
    • Repet­i­tive expo­sure tests (multiple inoculations)
  • Iden­ti­fi­ca­tions
    by MALDI-TOF within 24h
  • Indus­trial hygiene
    • Exam­i­na­tion of swab samples and swab samples
    • Testing of micro­bi­o­log­ical quality of air
    • Testing of water quality

Rapid methods:

Some Tentamus Group labo­ra­to­ries also offer special rapid methods to provide customers with test results after 3 days. This includes:

  • Testing for Salmo­nella, STEC/VTEC/EHEC using real-time PCR”
  • Testing for Listeria mono­cy­to­genes using a rapid cultural method
  • Germ iden­ti­fi­ca­tion by mass spec­trom­etry (MALDI-TOF)

Microbiological
testing of pharmaceuticals

Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals are subject to strict national and inter­na­tional regu­la­tions. Through our highly special­ized phar­ma­ceu­tical labo­ra­to­ries and scien­tists, we can opti­mally support you in the analysis of your pharmaceuticals.

Micro­bi­ology for phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals includes the detec­tion of microor­gan­isms that may be present in raw mate­rials, the produc­tion envi­ron­ment as well as in formu­lated prod­ucts. Our phar­ma­ceu­tical labo­ra­to­ries offer the full range of services, including testing of non-sterile prod­ucts and substances:

  • Micro­bial limit testing
  • Micro­bial cont­a­m­i­na­tion (bioburden analysis)
  • Sterility testing
  • Deter­mi­na­tion of biolog­ical load (Ph. Eur. 2.6.12, ISO 11737 – 1)
  • Pyrogen deter­mi­na­tion: bacte­rial endo­toxin test (Ph. Eur. 2.6.14) and mono­cyte acti­va­tion test (Ph. Eur. 2.6.30)
  • Micro­bi­o­log­ical testing of live biother­a­peu­tics (Ph. Eur. 2.6.36, Ph. Eur. 2.6.38)
  • Purity testing of bacte­rial cell banks
  • Bacte­rio­phage analysis
  • Deter­mi­na­tion of geno­tox­i­city (AMES test, OECD TG 471)
  • Micro­bi­o­log­ical testing of cosmetics according to CTFA or ISO standards

How are
samples taken for microbiological testing??

Sampling is an essen­tial and crit­ical step that has a deci­sive influ­ence on the signif­i­cance of the results of the micro­bi­o­log­ical exam­i­na­tion. Errors in sampling can seri­ously reduce the signif­i­cance of the micro­bi­o­log­ical exam­i­na­tion, so that the purpose of the exam­i­na­tion cannot be fulfilled. There­fore, sampling should only be performed by trained personnel. Another crit­ical point is the controlled and timely trans­port of the collected sample for analysis to the contracted laboratory.

The micro­bi­o­log­ical labo­ra­to­ries of Tentamus offer you a conve­nient service for sample collec­tion and pick-up.

Overview of
detectable germs and pathogens

In addi­tion to the exam­i­na­tion of the total bacte­rial count, the range of services offered by our labo­ra­to­ries includes micro­bi­o­log­ical exam­i­na­tions and detec­tion methods for the following germs and pathogens:

  • Aerobic mesophilic spore formers
  • Bacillus cereus
  • Campy­lobacter
  • Candida albi­cans
  • Clostridium perfrin­gens
  • Coliform germs
  • E.coli
  • Enter­obac­te­ri­aceae
  • Bile salt toler­ating gram-nega­tive bacteria
  • Yeasts and molds
  • Coag­u­lase-postitve staphylococci
  • Legionella
  • Listeria mono­cy­to­genes
  • Lactic acid bacteria
  • Pseudomonas spp.
  • Salmo­nella spp.
  • Shigella spp.
  • Sulfite-reducing Clostridia and their spores
  • Staphy­lo­cocci, entero­toxin, enterococci
  • Staphy­lo­coccus aureus

Deter­mi­na­tion of the total bacte­rial count

Aerobic mesophilic germs include many different microor­gan­isms of various origins. A small number of aerobic mesophilic germs is normal on almost all foods. However, if the total plate count is elevated in the tested sample, this may indi­cate a hygiene defi­ciency in the produc­tion or processing process or may be consid­ered a spoilage indi­cator. Thus, the total plate count deter­mined in the micro­bi­ology labo­ra­tory allows conclu­sions to be drawn about the quality and safety of the tested product.

Detec­tion of yeasts and molds

Yeasts and molds are typical spoilage pathogens whose demands on your envi­ron­ment differ from those of most microbes. Yeasts and molds also grow under lower temper­a­tures or in envi­ron­ments with a lower water activity value (aW value), a measure of the avail­able water in a food. Molds are of partic­ular health concern because of the myco­toxins they produce, which can cause aller­gies and some of which are carcinogenic.

Detec­tion of coliforms

Coliform germs, which include the genera Escherichia, Citrobacter and Kleb­siella, are an impor­tant hygiene indi­cator for drinking water and food. The pres­ence of coliform germs in a sample is a typical indi­cator of poor hygiene.

Pathogens of food poisoning and food­borne illnesses

Clostridium perfrigens, Bacillus cereus, Staphy­lo­coccus aureus and Shigella can cause severe food poisoning (also known as food intox­i­ca­tion) through the toxins they produce, which are usually mani­fested by the symp­toms of vomiting and diar­rhea within a few hours of ingestion.

In contrast, Salmo­nella spp. or Listeria mono­cy­to­genes, for example, can cause food infec­tions, whereby the bacteria ingested through cont­a­m­i­nated food multiply in the intes­tine and, after a specific incu­ba­tion period of usually a few days, trigger symp­toms such as abdom­inal pain, diar­rhea, and vomiting, often in conjunc­tion with fever, which can lead to severe courses of illness in certain patient groups (including the elderly and patients with weak­ened immune systems).

Inoc­u­la­tion tests, so-called chal­lenge tests, can be used to simu­late the growth behavior of Listeria mono­cy­to­genes in a product and thus deter­mine the growth poten­tial of this highly path­o­genic germ in the product under inves­ti­ga­tion. These tests are neces­sary to meet regu­la­tory require­ments for product safety with respect to Listeria monocytogenes.

Overview of
laboratories for micro­biological testing of the Tentamus Group

The following labo­ra­to­ries from the Tentamus Group offer micro­bi­o­log­ical testing:

We Value Your Privacy
We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential, while others help us to improve this website and your experience.
Privacy Settings
Statistics
We use these technologies to analyze how this website is being used.
Customer Interaction
These technologies will allow you to contact us through our website, i.e. use the chat widget.
Essential
Technologies required to enable the core functionality of this website.