surface swabs Food Consulting Services

What are Surface Swabs?
The name ‘surface swab’ is slightly misleading to the layman because these are taken, not only from surfaces like food processing tables, but also crockery, cutlery, glassware, pots and pans, nylon cutting boards, utensils and high risk equipment, like blenders.
Surface swabs are tested for the most basic and widespread microbiological test, the “Standard Plate Count” (SPC), variously also called the aerobic plate count, total viable count, total microbial count – and various other names. The standard plate count essentially encourages the growth of most microbes, including bacteria and fungi, except for those that are “fastidious”, meaning that they require special growth factors (such as a lack of oxygen, an unusual temperature or a special sugar).
This is an excellent method for testing general sanitation of most inanimate objects because research (and our company’s, Food Consulting Services, decade’s worth of data) prove that proper cleaning and sanitizing of all the above-listed items, is well able to reduce bacterial numbers to very low levels or even below the threshold of detectability.
Each surface swabs test is part of a complete microbiological evaluation of a kitchen. Food Consulting Services does microbiological evaluations of surface swabs, hand swabs, food samples and water samples. These all form part of the complete evaluation. All these microbiological tests provide scientific evidence as to the food safety, hygiene and sanitation standards in the kitchen. Hygiene Audits offered by Food Consulting Services ensures that a statistically representative number of microbiological samples are evaluated to be able to provide a meaningful microbiological index for the surface swabs, hand swabs, food samples and a composite microbiological index.
The microbiological indices are presented on a graph and tracked over the previous three audits to provide a trend over time.
Food Consulting Services is a South African owned food testing Laboratory and Food Consultancy formed in 1977. Here at Food Consulting Services, we pride ourselves in accurate microbiology, chemistry, physical and sensory test results. Along with surface swab tests, we specialize in microbiological testing, auditing and consulting on hygiene and food safety in food factories, commercial kitchens as well as legionella risk audits.
Feel free to contact Food Consulting Services to request any information about food testing and consulting. We look forward to being your food safety partner.