Article on ECTAP Project Workshop on Food Microbiology

15.01.2018

A Workshop on Food Microbiology was held in Isfara from 13 to 14 of November 2017, within the framework of ECTAP project. Under the scope of the EU funded project “Enhanced Competitiveness of Tajik Agribusiness Project”, where 5 various activities are conducted such as providing laboratory equipment, training and implementation of FSSC 22000 in the selected dried apricots processors, support in laboratory accreditation for selected food safety parameters.

The workshop on ISO 22000-2005 was held in August 2017, which included discussions of HACCP in dried apricots, revealed a lack of knowledge of food microbiology of the participants (private sector, representatives of the inspection agencies, food inspectors and technical universities and national consultants) and the limited scope of analysis of pathogenic bacteria at the varies laboratories. Emerging harmful bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenus are not analyzed and there is no distinguish between food safety and hygiene indicator organism.

The private sector will have to implement HACCP systems and will need to understand when, where and if harmful microorganism may occur. Understanding the differences between good, harmful and spoilage bacteria is essential.

In the very near future food inspectors will conduct HACCP based inspections and also will need to understand profiles of harmful or pathogenic bacteria.

Based on the feedback from the participants it has been concluded to conduct a workshop on food microbiology. The Facilitator of the current workshop was Mr. Cornelis Sonneveld.

The main objective of the workshop was to enhance the knowledge on food microbiology for the private sector, in particular dairy and dried apricots processors, for representatives of the inspection agencies/food inspectors of MoA, MoH and Tajikstandard, laboratories of the respective agencies, Technical Universities and national consultants.

The workshop had also other objective, as:

  • To familiarise the participants about the different types of microorganism such bacteria, parasites, mold & yeast, viruses and prions.

  • To familiarise the participants of the good or useful, bad or harmful or pathogenic and spoilage bacteria.

  • To familiarise the participants about conditions for growth of micro organism

  • To familiarise the participants with some essential harmful micro organism

  • To familiarise the participants about 2 and 3 class attributes sampling schemes.

  • To familiarise the participants with hygiene ( Enterobacteriaceae) and food safety organism (Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenus)

There was a general presentation in the workshop on food borne outbreaks and general reasons for that; details of the living conditions of bacteria such as optimum temperature curves of bacteria are discussed; examples of spoilage, pathogenic and good bacteria; the relevance of intrinsic values such as pH, Aw and moisture content are discussed; the most important pathogenic bacteria are discussed; the profile of the pathogenic bacteria and associated products; the importance of monitoring indicator organisms and the difference between the control of E coli, Coliforms Feacal, Coliforms and Enterobactericeae; some examples of 2 and 3 class attributes are reviewed; some Food microbiology norms and standards of dairy produce are discussed and compared with international standards and some examples of quick tests.

A pre-exam on the current level of knowledge of participants on food microbiology is conducted. A PowerPoint presentation is provided and the various subjects are discussed during the workshop. The presentation is included case studies and discussions. At the end of the workshop a post exam is conducted with multiple choice questions. The workshop was finalized with completing an evaluation sheet. Participants are received a Certificates of Attendance. It is expected that participants have increased knowledge on food micro biology; the Technical universities will review their Curriculum on food microbiology; and Ministries will review their current micro biological analyses and increase the scope of parameters.