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  • 1 Szent István University Department of Food Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Science H-1078 Budapest István u. 2 Hungary
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The standard culture methods in food hygiene used for the determination of microbial count are slow. In order to shorten the duration of detection of sampled bacteria, the Authors elaborated a redox potential measurement-based new method. The applicability of the new method was compared to the standard swab method in the framework of interlaboratory proficiency test aimed to determine the microbial contamination of model surfaces and in the hygienic control of a food manufacturing pilot plant. The comparative evaluation of total counts and Enterobacterium counts obtained by standard plate pouring and by the new method proved that there is no significant difference between the results of the two procedures. The total count determination with the new method lasted only 10–16 h in contrast to 72 h of plate counting. Particular advantages of the new method are that the bacterial count of the swab can be determined directly, without any washing down of the microbes from the swab and due to the different shapes of the redox curves, the total count and enterobacteria could be enumerated simultaneously from the same nonselective nutrient broth.

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