A shelf-life is required for perishable foods for the consumer. A ‘best-before’ date refers to the food quality (appearance, smell and taste) as opposed to the actual safety of the product. A ‘use-by’ date is used when, from a microbiological point of view, the foodstuffs are highly perishable and are therefore likely after a short period, to constitute a danger to health.
This applies to most chilled foods e.g. yogurt, milk, meat. Although manufacturers are responsible for determining an accurate shelf-life (as they are more familiar with ingredients and storage), the microbiologist can monitor fluctuations in indicator organisms to help determine a safe level to assist producers bring their products to market.
The following is a list of some of the analysis our experts can test for:
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