Enterobacteriaceae is comprised of several genera of bacteria including: Citrobacter, Enterobacter, Erwinia, Escherichia, Klebsiella, Proteus, Salmonella, Shigella, and Yersinia. This group is most often used in Europe as indicators of food quality and as indices of food safety.
Coliforms and E. coli are commonly used as a bacterial indicator of sanitary quality of foods, water and processing environments. Both are defined as rod-shaped, gram-negative, non-spore forming bacteria which can ferment lactose with the production of acid and gas. Coliforms are commonly found in water, plants and in fecal material. Common coliforms include Citrobacter, Enterobacter, Hafnia, Klebsielle and Serratia. E. coli are commonly found in the intestinal tract of animals and in fecal material.
Total Plate Count
Total Plate Count (TPC), also known as Aerobic Plate Count (APC), is the enumeration of the total aerobic bacterial population. It is a useful indicator to verify the freshness of a product or validation of sanitation procedures.
Yeasts and molds are microbes that can cause deterioration and decomposition of foods. Yeasts and molds tend to be highly adaptive of their environments and can grow over a wide range of temperature and pH values, and are thus found across a wide range of products. These spoilage organisms are often found in fresh fruits, vegetables, nut, cereals, soft drinks, confectionary products, cheeses and processed meats. Contamination of foods by yeast and mold can cause substantial economic losses to producers. Because of their prevalence, the quantification of yeast and mold levels in raw materials and finished goods is a common HACCP quality control parameter in food production.