After this lab activity you should be able to:
- Perform a serial dilution.
- Determine the population count of bacteria in a food sample.
- Reflect on the presence/absence of bacteria in food.
The presence of microbes in food may or may not be a disease or spoilage issue. Bacteria could be present that will not cause human disease, or could be present as an intrinsic part of the food—think yogurt! However, high counts of bacteria in food could be problematic, in both the potential for disease and also for food spoilage. If high counts of bacteria are present in food in a manufacturing/production setting, additional tests could be called for. This is especially true with foods where bacteria are not expected to be present and in foods that have been through a process like pasteurization. High plate counts could also be a sign of a breach in the manufacturing process.
Contributors and Attributions
Kelly C. Burke (College of the Canyons)