Microbiological analyses can be used to determine whether a product is free from pests and microbial contamination and can therefore be marketed without hesitation. Microorganisms, for example bacteria, viruses, and moulds, are omnipresent in our environment and can also be caused by improper handling during production.
Sometimes they are even desired, e.g., during the fermentation and ripening of various foods. Microorganisms can lead to food spoilage and pose a risk to consumers. Microbiological analyses are used to identify pathogens and spoilage germs so that they can be eliminated and quality and product safety can be guaranteed. The total plate count in particular is an important indicator in this process, because it indicates how many microorganisms are present in a sample. In this respect, there are certain guideline values that must not be exceeded. The specialist group for food microbiology and hygiene of the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM) has compiled an overview of these guide values.