About bacteria and viruses
What is “bacteria”?
It is a collective term for microorganisms that cannot be seen by the naked eye.
What is the difference between “bacteria” and “viruses”?
They have different living mechanisms. Bacteria reproduce by themselves under certain conditions, whereas viruses cannot propagate unless they have a host. There is also a size difference: viruses are smaller than bacteria.
What kind of microorganisms DOX can detect?
DOX can detect and determine the number of total viable cells and coliforms which serve as an indicator for a good or bad hygiene in food manufacturing processes. This is a “quantitative test”.
DOX also determines whether or not Escherichia coli is present in food products. This is a “qualitative test”. Additionally, now DOX is able to detect Staphylococcus aureus and salmonella both of which may cause food poisoning.
What kind of things DOX cannot detect?
DOX can only detect microorganisms.
In addition, as DOX detects proliferation of microorganisms, foods that contain bacteriostatic agents are unsuitable for the testing. Horseradish and tea are such examples.
What are “total viable cells”?
It indicates the number of microorganisms that are living and capable of growth regardless of their types.
What are “coliforms”?
It is a generic term referring to microorganisms that widely reside in soil or feces of humans and animals. This group of microorganisms is regarded as an indicator of the level of food hygiene control. Moreover, because of their weakness against heat, they are also used to confirm that a food is sufficiently cooked and free of cross-contamination after cooking.
What is the difference between “Escherichia coli” and “coliforms”?
Escherichia coli is a specific bacterium that has been defined bacteriologically, whereas coliforms refer to a group of indicator bacteria from a hygienic perspective.
What is “Staphylococcus aureus”?
It is a bacterium that usually dwells on the surface of human skin, especially on the palms and fingertips because it is salt tolerant and it is also tolerant to desiccation. The toxin produced by this bacterium can cause food-poisoning.
What is “salmonella”?
It is a gut-dwelling bacterium which often contaminates chicken and their eggs. It is one of the food-poisoning bacteria that would cause severe symptoms.
What kind of bacteria would attach to food products?
It depends on the type of the ingredients. If the foods are made of vegetables, bacteria that reside in soil might be attached. As for marine products, water-dwelling bacteria might adhere, and for meat products, bacteria that reside in pasture soil or feces in stalls might be attached. Bacteria that reside in restrooms of factories or adhering to the skin of the production workers might contaminate food products as well.