Food Safety Net Services (FSNS) understands that special food safety needs extend beyond the scope of routine testing. The FSNS Special Projects Team provides a wide array of specialized services to meet your special food safety needs:

Laboratory–Based Challenge Studies

Growth Inhibition Studies: Artificial inoculation of foods with pathogenic or spoilage microorganisms to track outgrowth during product storage; USP 51 antimicrobial effectiveness studies; Antimicrobial ingredient minimum inhibitory concentration studies.

Inactivation Studies: Validation of chemical dip and spray interventions against pathogenic or spoilage microorganisms artificially inoculated onto food product surfaces; Validation of thermal treatment conditions (baking, frying, kettle cooking, blanching) used to provide foodborne pathogen lethality; Determining the efficacy of chemical sanitizers against foodborne pathogens attached to environmental surfaces; Meat fermentation and drying procedure validation studies.

Combination Studies: Determining the effectiveness of inactivation procedures used to provide foodborne pathogen lethality combined with tracking outgrowth during storage.

In–Plant Challenge Studies

Inactivation Studies: Using non–pathogenic surrogate microorganisms to validate chemical dip and spray intervention efficacy; Using non–pathogenic surrogate microorganisms to validate thermal treatment conditions (baking, frying, kettle cooking, blanching) used to provide foodborne pathogen lethality.

Shelf Life Studies
  • Cooler and Retail Display Case Refrigerated Storage Studies: Spoilage microorganism growth; Organoleptic evaluation; Chemical evaluation.
  • Highly Controlled Temperature and Humidity Chamber Stability Studies: Spoilage microorganism growth; Organoleptic evaluation; Chemical evaluation.
  • Room Temperature Ambient Storage Studies: Spoilage microorganism growth;
  • Organoleptic evaluation; Chemical evaluation.
  • Accelerated Shelf Life (Q10 Model) Storage Studies: Organoleptic evaluation; Chemical evaluation.
Data Collection and Modeling Studies
  • Thermal Modeling Studies: Collection of thermal lethality device (oven, fryer, roaster etc.) temperature data and modeling to determine foodborne pathogen lethality.
  • Environmental Condition Modeling Studies: Collection of environmental condition (temperature, moisture, pH) and indicator organism data and modeling to determine pathogen outgrowth in food plant environments.
In–Plant Assessments
  • Contamination Sources: Foodborne pathogen harborage investigations; Spoilage organism source investigations; Sanitary dressing procedure evaluations.
  • General Assessments: Environmental sampling site assessments; GMP evaluations; Sanitation evaluations.
Testing Method Validation Studies
  • AOAC International: Method developer studies; Single laboratory validation studies;
  • Collaborative study participation.
  • Health Canada: MFHPB validation studies.
  • FSNS Internal Method Validations.
  • USP Suitability and Preparatory Testing.
Foreign Material Identification
  • Visual Evaluation: Stereoscope; Microscope.
  • Physical Evaluation: Solubility; Magnetic attraction.
  • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry: Purity indices; Database matches.
Microbial Identification and Subtyping
  • REP–PCR Subtyping: Gram Positive bacteria; Gram Negative bacteria; Fungi.
  • Bacterial Identification: Biochemical identification; 16S rRNA gene sequencing.
  • Fungal Identification: Biochemical identification; 18S rRNA gene sequencing.
Bacterial Toxin Testing
  • Staphylococcal Enterotoxins
  • Bacillus cereus Diarrheal Enterotoxin
Proficiency Testing Programs
  • Microbiological Proficiency Testing Programs.
  • Chemical Proficiency Testing Programs
IR Biotyper® by Bruker – Microbial strain typing for real-time quality control and source tracking

The IR Biotyper® provides a comprehensive approach for relevant and cost-effective hygiene control by allowing real-time monitoring and source-tracking while still aligning with your routine testing requirements. Routine fingerprinting of collected microbial isolates assists with:

• Compares strains

• Monitoring contamination

• Proactive root cause analysis

• Corrective actions in the cleaning process management

The IR Biotyper® is a quicker and more cost-effective alternative to Whole Genome Sequencing. Clear result reports are provided, applying visualization tools such as dendrogram and distance matrix.

For more information regarding FSNS Special Projects, click below.

The FSNS Research

We realize that innovation comes from research. That’s why we actively participate in a wide array of food safety and quality–related research projects. The overall goal of FSNS research is to remain current and actively involved in projects that are vital to the advancement of food safety and quality, such as:

  • Research activities funded by food industry trade associations
  • Research projects conducted in collaboration with academic institutions
  • Collaborative studies related to microbiological method development and advancement
  • Research opportunities funded by regulatory agencies such as the FDA and USDA
  • Provide professional guidance on microbiological specifications and risks for various products

For information on collaborative opportunities or existing projects, email or call Dr. Alex Brandt at 210–308–0675 Ext. 266.