General References

M. R. Adams and M. O. Moss, Food Microbiology, The Royal Society of Chemistry, London, United Kingdom, 1995. G. J. Banwart, Basic Food Microbiology, AVI, Westport, Conn., 1981.

C. M. Bourgeois, J. Y. Levean, and D. Y. C. Fung, Microbiological Control of Foods and Agricultural Products, English ed., VCH, New York, 1995.

J. E. L. Corry, D. Roberts, and F. A. Skinner, Isolation and Identification Methods for Food Poisoning Organisms, Academic Press, New York, 1982.

M. P. Doyle, Food Borne Bacterial Pathogens, Marcel Dekker, New York, 1989.

M. P. Doyle, L. R. Beuchat, and T. J. Montville, Food Microbiology : Fundamentals and Frontiers, ASM Press, Washington, D.C., 1997.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Bacteriology Analytical Manual, 8th ed., AOAC INTERNATIONAL, Arlington, Va., 1995.

D. Y. C. Fung, "Types of Microorganisms," in F. E. Cunningham and N. A. Cox, eds., Microbiology of Poultry Meat Products, Academic Press, New York, 1987, pp. 5-27.

D. Y. C. Fung, "What's Needed in Rapid Detection of Foodborne Pathogens," Food Technol. 49, 64-67 (1995).

D. Y. C. Fung, "Overview of Rapid Methods of Microbiological Analysis," in M. C. Tortorello and S. M. Gendel, eAs., Food Microbiology Analysis: New Technologies, Marcel Dekker, New York, 1997, pp. 1-25.

D. Y. C. Fung, Handbook of Rapid Methods and Automation in Microbiology Workshop, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kans., 1998.

D. Y. C. Fung et al., "Novel Methods to Stimulate Growth of Food Pathogens by Oxyrase and Related Membrane Fractions," in R. C. Spencer, E. P. Wright, and S. W. B. Newsome, eds.,Rapid Methods and Automation in Microbiology, Intercept Limited, Andover, United Kingdom, 1994, pp. 313-326.

J. M. Jay, Modern Food Microbiology, 5th ed., Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1996.

R. T. Marshall, ed., Standard Methods for the Examination of Dairy Products, 16th ed., American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C., 1992.

M. D. Pierson and N. J. Stern, Foodborne Microorganisms and Their Toxins: Developing Methodology, Marcel Dekker, New York, 1985.

B. Ray, Fundamental Food Microbiology, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla., 1996.

A. N. Sharpe, Food Microbiology: A Framework for the Future, Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, 111., 1980.

J. H. Silliker et al., Microbial Ecology of Foods, Vols. 1 and 2, Academic Press, New York, 1980.

C. Vanderzant and D. Splittstoesser, Compendium of Methods for the Microbiological Examination of Foods, American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C., 1991.

Daniel Y. C. Fung Kansas State University Manhattan, Kansas


The many methods that are used to enumerate microorganisms or to detect their toxic products in foods can be placed in two groups. One group includes those methods that require the organisms to be viable, while the other includes methods that detect cells that may be nonliving, or parts and products of cells, and the two groups are listed in Table 1 along with the reported minimum detectable numbers of cells or products for each. In both groups are methods that are used primarily for the detection and enumeration or microorganisms, whereas some are used primarily to identify microorganisms.

Table 1. Examples of the Two Broad Categories of Enumeration/Detection Methods and their Minimum Response Cell Numbers

Minimum numbers

A. Viable / respiring cells required

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