Microbiological Testing

Overview

Our laboratories in Cape Town and Midrand offer the largest range of SANAS-accredited microbiological test methods for food, beverage, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.

Both laboratories are accredited by the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) as meeting the technical competency requirements of the internationally recognised ISO 17025 standard.

We have an industry-wide reputation for providing fast, efficient, reliable results and exceptional customer service.

Our Microbiological Services include:

  • Routine testing of products to establish microbiological safety (without causing food poisoning or spoilage before reaching the desired shelf-life)
  • Monitoring raw materials
  • Challenge and efficacy testing
  • Identifying and quantifying contaminating organisms
  • Microbiological shelf-life testing
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Sterility testing
  • Effluent and waste-water control

As we meet the ISO 17025 standard requirements, our certificates of analysis are recognised and accepted worldwide, a benefit to clients who export.

Accreditation

We are a SANAS accredited laboratory
View SANAS Accreditation Certificate for Cape Town
View SANAS Accreditation Certificate for Midrand

Tests Offered

A list of our SANAS accredited methods is available on our website. To receive detailed information about tests (lead time for results, method reference, sample requirements etc) or a quotation please contact our Customer Service Department.

Through our R & D Department we stay abreast of the latest methods and techniques and will partner with clients to develop specific/additional test methods currently not offered.

Conventional Testing

Mérieux NutriSciences's methods are based on international references (mostly ISO) which make these acceptable for most glabal companies.

Our reference methods are indicated on the specific accreditation certificates. (see above)

Rapid Pathogen Testing

Mérieux NutriSciences offers rapid pathogen testing through VIDAS® technology. VIDAS® is an automated multi-parametric immunoassay testing system which uses ELFA (Enzyme Linked Fluorescent Assay) Technology, a combination of ELISA Technology (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay) with a final fluorescent reading.

How it works

Before inserting samples in the VIDAS® automated immune-analyser, pre-enrichment of the samples is required at a specific temperature and time period. The pre-enrichment steps are dependent on the testing protocol of the specific pathogen. After the enrichment period, the sample will be analysed on VIDAS® equipment where the following steps occur:

Antigen capture - the antibody captures the target pathogen.

Sandwich assay - a second antibody, conjugated with an enzyme, fixes itself to the captured antigen.

Detection - the intensity of the fluorescence is interpreted by the system

Tests Offered

Mérieux NutriSciences offers the following pathogen tests on VIDAS® in our Cape Town and Midrand laboratories:

  • Salmonella
    (VIDAS® Easy SLM method) detection

    The turnaround time for this method is 48 hours. Mérieux NutriSciences is able to analyse all food matrices (except for spices and sauces) as well as environmental swabs.
  • Campylobacter
    (VIDAS® CAM method) detection

    The turnaround time for this method is 48 hours. Mérieux NutriSciences is able to analyse milk, chicken and meat product types.
  • Detection of Listeria spp and Listeria monocytogenes
    (VIDAS® LDUO Method)

    The Listeria LDUO is for the simultaneous screening of Listeria spp and Listeria monocytogenes. The turnaround time for this method is 48 hours. Mérieux NutriSciences is able to analyse all food matrices as well as environmental swabs.

All the above-mentioned test methods will report presumptive positive results or negative within 48 hours. All presumptive positive results have to be confirmed using conventional techniques and biochemical testing. The confirmation steps add an additional two to three days to the turnaround time of results in the instance where pathogens are presumptive positive results.

Value-Added Services

In addition to the wide-ranging tests on offer, Mérieux NutriSciences offers the following services:

  • Sterile sample containers, cooler boxes, ice bricks, swabs and air plates (for environmental monitoring). Please complete this online form to request a quotation.
  • Sample collection
  • Technical support

Technically-qualified consultants can visit clients onsite to discuss/ interpret microbiological test results, demonstrate sampling techniques, assist with problem solving, provide hands-on advice and develop tailor-made sampling/testing plans (to satisfy your hygiene/GMP/HACCP/BRC needs).

Sample Collection

Mérieux NutriSciences has a fleet of highly efficient drivers who will collect samples or deliver sterile sample containers to your premises in the greater Cape Town and Midrand areas. Sample collections from clients beyond these areas are maintained through door-to-door couriers.

Our drivers have been trained in sample handling procedures to ensure that samples arrive at the laboratory timeously and at the right temperature. Each car is fitted with a built-in fridge to ensure sample integrity during transport.

Sample Submission

Samples can be submitted during business hours (08h00 to 16h30) during the week or on Saturdays (by prior arrangement). All new/dormant clients should open an account before submitting samples to the laboratory.

Clients can download a sample submission form (or contact our Customer Service Department for a copy) to assist with selecting tests when submitting samples to the laboratory.

Download Sample Analysis Request Forms
Cape Town SARF (Sample Analysis Request Form) - Basic
Midrand SARF (Sample Analysis Request Form) - Basic
SARF (Sample Analysis Request Form) - Comprehensive

Request a Quotation

Please complete this online form to request a quotation or contact our Customer Service Department.