PerkinElmer Inc. has announced the global availability of its ready-to-use, MicrofastTM microbial count plates for food safety testing. The new microfilm plates are designed to provide efficient, effective, and user-friendly quantification of aerobic, Escherichia coli, coliform, Enterobacteriaceae, yeast and mold, and Staphylococcus aureaus contamination in dairy, meat and poultry, fruit, vegetable, baked goods, and environmental surface samples. All six plate types have received AOAC Performance Tested Methods (PTM) certification.

Geared toward food companies and contract labs, the highly sensitive and accurate kits feature a simple, three-step workflow, which is 66 percent fewer steps than traditional approaches. To use the kits, users place a liquid sample on the plate’s leak-free culture area (which features automatic diffusion) and lower the film without pressure, incubate the plate, and wait for the new-generation microbial coloration to show rapid proliferation of microbial contaminants. E.coli colonies, for example, will appear as blue, and S. aureaus colonies will appear as dark violet.

Microfast microbial count plates allow for more rapid availability of data. For example, the kits reveal results in 48 and 72 hours for yeasts and mold, respectively, versus 120 hours and five days, respectively, using traditional culture methods. This helps support timely decision-making and maximizes sample throughput.

The plates also reduce human error by providing standardized protocols and offer a small footprint to save space in incubators and storage areas. The microfilm and cardboard design of the plates also reduce plastic waste in the lab.