Food Microbiology

IEH Provides Comprehensive Microbiological Testing and Data Interpretation


Bacterial Pathogens

  • Brucella spp.

  • Campylobacter spp.

  • Cronobacter sakazakii

  • E. coli O157:H7

  • Pathogenic STEC (EHEC)

  • Enteroaggregative E. coli

  • Enteroinvasive E. coli 

  • Enteropathogenic E. coli

  • Legionella spp. 

  • Listeria monocytogenes

  • Mycobacterium spp. 

  • Mycoplasma spp.

  • Salmonella spp.

  • Shigella spp.

  • Yersinia paratuberculosis

  • Yersinia enterocolitica

  • Vibrio spp.

Microbial Toxins


  • Aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1, G2)

  • Fumonisins (B1, B2)

  • Fusariums (DON, HT-2, T-2, ZON)

  • Ochratoxin A

  • Patulin

Other Toxins:

  • Botulinum Toxin

  • Cereulide

  • Domoic Acid

  • Microcystins (LR, RR, YR)

  • Staphylococcal Enterotoxins

Toxigenic Bacteria

  • Bacillus cereus

  • Clostridium botulinum

  • Clostridium perfringens

  • Staphylococcus aureus



  • Cyclospora cayetanensis

  • Cryptosporidium spp.

  • Giardia

  • Trichinella spiralis

Process Control Testing (PCT)  

Current tools in microbiological testing are limited to testing for specific pathogens or indicator organisms. The IEH Process Control Testing (PCT) Program takes a wholly new approach, and aims to measure the degree of “control of the production process” based on the simultaneous detection of the presence or absence of multiple broad groups of microbes at various stages of the processes and in the production environment. The broad groups include spoilage organisms, environmental contaminants and groups that share markers with pathogens of interest.

The end result of a PCT test is an index score, the Process Control Index (PCI). The score is generated by a proprietary algorithm. In general, higher scores indicate more biodiversity, and scores which exceed an established threshold are indicative of an increased risk of microbes being present which share genetic markers with pathogens of interest though the target microbes themselves are not pathogens.

The PCI score is suitable for process control for raw material acceptance/qualification programs, finished product quality evaluation and environmental monitoring programs (sanitation efficacy). IEH provides, at no cost, Statistical Process Control (SPC) charts to facilities using the IEH PCT test, similar to the SPC chart shown here.

Indicator Organisms

  • Aerobic Plate Counts

  • Anaerobic Plate Counts

  • Aerobic and Anaerobic Spores

  • Enterobacteriaceae

  • Enterococcus spp.

  • Total Fecal Coliforms

  • Generic E. coli

  • Lactic Acid Bacteria

  • Listeria spp.

  • Pseudomonas spp. 

  • Total Coliform

  • Yeast and Mold

Spoilage Organisms


  • Brettanomyces bruxellensis

  • HOP resistant bacteria

  • Megasphaera cerevisiae

  • Pectinatus cerevisiiphilus

  • Pectinatus frisingensis

  • Saccharomyces diastatics


  • Acetobacter spp.

  • Brettanomyces bruxellensis

  • Gluconobacter spp.

  • Lactobacillus spp.

  • Oenocccus oeni

  • Pedicoccus spp.

  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae

  • Zygosaccharomyces bailii


  • Bacillus spp.

  • Enterobacteriaceae

  • Mucor circinelloides

  • Paenibacillus spp.

  • Pseudomonas fluorescencs

  • Pseudomonas fragi

  • Pseudomonas lundensis


  • Brochotrix thermosphacta

  • Clostridium estherticum

  • Clostridium algidicarnis

  • Enterobacteriaceae

  • Lactic Acid Bacteria

  • Pseudomonas spp.


  • Brochotrix thermosphacta

  • Carnobacterium divergens

  • Lactococcus piscium

  • Leuconostoc spp. 

  • Photobacterium phosphoreum


  • Acinetobacter spp.

  • Candida spp.

  • Debaryomyces spp.

  • Pseudomonas spp.

  • Rhodotorula spp.

Fruit Juice

  • Acetobacter spp.

  • Alicylobacillus acidoterrestris 

  • Aspergillus flavus

  • Rhodotorula mucilaginosa


  • Acinetobacter calcoaceticus

  • Botrytis cinerea

  • Clavibacter michiganensis

  • Erwinia carotovora

  • Lactobacillus buchneri

  • Leuconostoc gelidum

  • Pectobacterium carotovorum

  • Pseudomonas chlororaphis

  • Pseudomonas spp.

  • Xanthomonas campestris


  • Carnobacterium divergens

  • Carnobacterium maltaromaticum

  • Lactobacillus alimentarius

  • Lactobacillus curvatus

  • Lactobacillus sakei

  • Photobacterium iliopiscarium

  • Photobacterium phosphoreum

  • Pseudomonas spp.

  • Psychrobacter immobilis

  • Shewanella baltica

  • Shewanella putrefaciens