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Microorganisms in food may be useful or harmful. The application of technologically useful bacteria is known in the processing of various foods like dairy products but also in the beverage industry. But microorganisms are also indicators for spoilage or inadequate hygiene during food processing.
EU regulation 2073/2005 issues mandatory microbiological criteria for food. Additionally, the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM) has published guidance and warning values for the microbial contamination of food.
Quantification and detection of microorganisms is achieved using cultivation methods. For the determination of pathogenic organisms real time PCR often offers a quick alternative method. Identification and confirmation uses microscopic, biochemical and serological methods.
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