Title: Hygiene indicators (total coliform) in fish processing environment - A case study of a fresh and frozen white fish processing plant.

Final project
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Supervisors: Hjorleifur Einarsson
Hygiene Indicators; Swab; MPN; foodhandlers; contamination; GMP; Fish processing establishment.


In this study bacterial indicators were investigated in a fish processing plant in order to identify their sources and routes of transmission so that they could be reduced or eliminated. Swabs on food contact surfaces as well as fish samples were taken and tested for coliforms and faecal coliforms. Present/absent tests were carried out for swabs and for fish samples. The Most Probable Number (MPN) technique as well as plate counts to isolate and enumerate coliforms and faecal coliforms were used. Coliforms were present at most steps in the processing environment, with few exceptions, whereas positive results for faecal coliforms were only obtained in the trimming area, suggesting that they may have originated from food handlers. The presence of these microorganims, although in numbers within company specifications, shows that foodhandlers were not adhering to hygiene and sanitation procedures. Knowledge of contaminations is very critical in the Good Hygienic Practices programme and effective hygiene as well sanitary procedures in food processing plants are necessary, should contamination by coliform and faecal coliform bacteria persist.

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