Statistical Aspects of the Microbiological Examination of Foods

Statistical Aspects of the Microbiological Examination of Foods

3rd Edition - June 29, 2016

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  • Author: Basil Jarvis
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128039731
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128039748

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Statistical Aspects of the Microbiological Examination of Foods, Third Edition, updates some important statistical procedures following intensive collaborative work by many experts in microbiology and statistics, and corrects typographic and other errors present in the previous edition. Following a brief introduction to the subject, basic statistical concepts and procedures are described including both theoretical and actual frequency distributions that are associated with the occurrence of microorganisms in foods. This leads into a discussion of the methods for examination of foods and the sources of statistical and practical errors associated with the methods. Such errors are important in understanding the principles of measurement uncertainty as applied to microbiological data and the approaches to determination of uncertainty. The ways in which the concept of statistical process control developed many years ago to improve commercial manufacturing processes can be applied to microbiological examination in the laboratory. This is important in ensuring that laboratory results reflect, as precisely as possible, the microbiological status of manufactured products through the concept and practice of laboratory accreditation and proficiency testing. The use of properly validated standard methods of testing and the verification of ‘in house’ methods against internationally validated methods is of increasing importance in ensuring that laboratory results are meaningful in relation to development of and compliance with established microbiological criteria for foods. The final chapter of the book reviews the uses of such criteria in relation to the development of and compliance with food safety objectives. Throughout the book the theoretical concepts are illustrated in worked examples using real data obtained in the examination of foods and in research studies concerned with food safety.

Key Features

  • Includes additional figures and tables together with many worked examples to illustrate the use of specific procedures in the analysis of data obtained in the microbiological examination of foods
  • Offers completely updated chapters and six new chapters
  • Brings the reader up to date and allows easy access to individual topics in one place
  • Corrects typographic and other errors present in the previous edition


Graduate microbiologists working either in research or as day-to-day practitioners in food and related laboratories. Microbiologists, food microbiologists, applied microbiologists, food scientists, food technologists, official analysts, environmental health officers

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Introduction

    • Abstract

    Chapter 2: Some basic statistical concepts

    • Abstract
    • Populations
    • Lots and samples
    • Average sample populations
    • Statistics and parameters
    • The central limit theorem

    Chapter 3: Frequency distributions

    • Abstract
    • Types of frequency distribution
    • Statistical probability
    • The binomial distribution (σ2 < μ)
    • The Normal distribution
    • The Poisson distribution (σ2 = μ)
    • The negative binomial distribution (σ2 > μ)
    • Relationships between the frequency distributions
    • Transformations

    Chapter 4: The distribution of microorganisms in foods in relation to sampling

    • Abstract
    • Random distribution
    • Regular distribution
    • Contagious (heterogeneous) distributions
    • Effects of sample size

    Chapter 5: Statistical aspects of sampling for microbiological analysis

    • Abstract
    • Attributes and variables sampling
    • Binomial and trinomial distributions
    • Precision of the sample estimate
    • Acceptance sampling by attributes
    • Acceptance sampling by variables
    • Some statistical considerations about drawing representative samples
    • Addendum

    Chapter 6: Errors associated with preparing samples for analysis

    • Abstract
    • Laboratory sampling errors
    • Calculation of the relative dilution error
    • Effects of gross dilution series errors on the derived colony count

    Chapter 7: Errors associated with colony count procedures

    • Abstract
    • Specific technical errors
    • Pipetting and distribution errors
    • Limiting precision and confidence limits of the colony count
    • General technical errors
    • Comparability of colony count methods
    • Overall error of colony count methods

    Chapter 8: Errors associated with quantal response methods

    • Abstract
    • Dilution series and most probable number counts
    • Multiple test dilution series
    • Special applications of multiple-tube dilution tests
    • Other statistical aspects of multistage tests

    Chapter 9: Statistical considerations of other methods in quantitative microbiology

    • Abstract
    • Direct microscopic methods
    • Indirect methods

    Chapter 10: Measurement uncertainty in microbiological analysis

    • Abstract
    • Accuracy, trueness and precision
    • Measurement uncertainty
    • Sampling uncertainty

    Chapter 11: Estimation of measurement uncertainty

    • Abstract
    • The ‘generalised uncertainty method’ or ‘bottom-up’ procedure
    • The ‘top-down’ approach to estimation of uncertainty
    • Analysis of variance
    • Measurement of intermediate reproducibility
    • Estimation of uncertainty associated with quantal methods
    • Use of reference materials in quantal testing

    Chapter 12: Statistical process control using microbiological data

    • Abstract
    • What is statistical process control?
    • Tools for statistical process control
    • Shewhart’s control charts for variables data
    • CUSUM charts
    • The moving windows average
    • Control charts for attribute data
    • Recent developments in statistical process control

    Chapter 13: Validation of microbiological methods for food

    • Abstract
    • The stages of method development
    • What is validation?
    • Validation of qualitative methods
    • Validation of quantitative methods
    • Future directions

    Chapter 14: Risk assessment and microbiological criteria for foods

    • Abstract
    • Risk assessment and food safety objectives
    • Microbiological criteria
    • The relevance of measurement uncertainty to MC
    • Conclusions

Product details

  • No. of pages: 352
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2016
  • Published: June 29, 2016
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128039731
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128039748

About the Author

Basil Jarvis

Basil Jarvis
Prof. Basil Jarvis has held various academic and senior industrial research positions throughout his career as a food microbiologist. His work has taken him to many countries outside the UK including the USA, Scandinavia and South Africa. He has published widely on food quality and safety, including inhibition of microbes in food systems, microbial toxins in foods, rapid microbiological methods, and statistical aspects of food microbiology. For almost 40 years he has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Reading and for 20 years was an Honorary Professor of Life Sciences at the University of Surrey, where he established a WHO-sponsored graduate course in Food Microbiology for medical and veterinary practitioners.

He has served on numerous official advisory groups, including the statistics group of the AOAC Presidential Taskforce on ‘Best Practices in Microbiological Methods’. He is also a member of the ISO working group on Microbiological Statistics. He is a Past President and Honorary Member of the Society for Applied Microbiology, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a Fellow of the Institute for Food Science and Technology. Although now retired, he retains his interests in teaching students and considers statistics to be a relaxing hobby, especially when accompanied by a glass of fine wine!

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy, The University of Reading, UK

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  • WILLIAMMULLLAN Sun May 26 2019

    Statistical Aspects of the Microbiological Examination of Foods

    This is a very good reference on the statistical aspects of microbial sampling. It is suitable for highly numerate microbiologists. If it is rewritten a good editor might consider providing Excel spreadsheets illustrating basic statistical principles.