Quality assurance for microbiology in feed analysis laboratories


Quality assurance for
microbiology in feed
analysis laboratories

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome 2013


Animal feeding influences every sector of the livestock industry. High quality animal feed with the correct nutritional content and free from harmful contaminants, such as microbiological agents or their toxins, ensures that animals will be in the best possible condition, content and healthy. As a result animals will produce increased yields of quality products (meat, milk, eggs or wool) resulting in improved health and wellbeing of the human population.

This publication provides comprehensive guidance on the requirements of a microbiology laboratory performing animal feed analysis and includes examples of standard operating procedures, prepared by experts from around the world. These procedures will assist laboratories in attaining the competence required, will enhance the quality of data reported and ensure the safety of laboratory workers. The procedures contained in this publication are compliant with ISO/IEC 17025:2005 (General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories) and take into account ISO 14001:2004 (Environmental management systems) and BS OHSAS 18001:2007 (Occupational health and safety management systems) and will assist laboratories to gain accreditation or certification.

This publication will be useful for laboratory analysts, laboratory managers, students and teachers and will enable workers in the livestock industry to appreciate the importance of proven reliable data and quality assurance. Implementing the procedures will strengthen the research and education capabilities of students and promote a better trading environment between developing and developed economies. This will have long-term benefits and promote investment in feed industries and R&D.

Table of Contents



The Quality Management System in a microbiology laboratory

    IntroductionGlossary of terms
    Quality assurance purpose and guidelines
    Microbiology laboratory organization and responsibilities
    Personnel training, qualification and competence in the microbiology laboratory
    Accommodation (facilities) and environment
    Microbiology testing – selection and verification of methods (including measurement uncertainty)
    Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
    Equipment – maintenance and service
    Reporting microbiological results
    Traceability of results
    Proficiency testing
    Documentation and control of documents
    Health and safety (including risk assessment) in the microbiology laboratory
    Audits, corrective actions and management review in the microbiology laboratory 55 Corrective and Preventive Actions (CAPA)


Quality assurance and general laboratory procedures

    Microbiological media, reagents and chemicals
    Receiving microbiological samples
    Handling and preparation of microbiological samples
    Microbiological identification using traditional and commercial methods
    Gram stain and primary characterisation tests
    Use of autoclaves
    Use of incubators and temperature controlled equipment
    Basic microbiological techniques
    Use of balances
    Use of pipettors
    Use of pH meters
    Microbiology laboratory water
    Microbiology laboratory glassware


Microbiology procedures

    Isolation and enumeration of Enterobacteriaceae from animal feed samples
    Isolation and identification of Escherichia coli O157 from animal feed samples
    Isolation of Salmonella spp. from animal feed samples
    Isolation of Listeria spp. from animal feed samples
    Isolation and enumeration of yeasts (excluding probiotic yeast), moulds, Dematiaceae and aerobic/mesophilic bacteria from animal feed samples
    Isolation and enumeration of Aspergillus spp. from animal feed samples
    Isolation and enumeration of probiotic bacteria and yeasts from animal feed samples
    Isolation and enumeration of Sulphite Reducing (SR) Clostridia spp. from animal feed samples
    Detection of Toxoplasma gondii in animal feed samples
    Detection of Echinococcus spp. in animal feed samples
    Detection of Trichinella spp. in animal feed samples
    Detection of Processed Animal Protein (PAPs) in animal feed samples
    List of reviewers of this document for FAO

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ISBN 978-92-5-107656-9 (print)
E-ISBN 978-92-5-107657-6 (PDF)

© FAO 2013

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