3M Food Safety announced today the availability of software enhancements to its 3M Petrifilm Plate Reader, a popular peripheral device that serves as an automated alternative to the more time-consuming task of manually counting and documenting colonies of bacteria on 3M Petrifilm Plates indicator tests. The new 3M Petrifilm Plate Reader software version 4.0 now automates the imaging, interpretation and data mapping of the 3M Petrifilm Rapid Aerobic Count Plate, which debuted last year as a novel 24-hour test. In addition, this release also makes functionality for the 3M Petrifilm Enterobacteriaceae Count Plate and 3M Petrifilm Select E. coli Count Plate globally available.

The software upgrades are part of 3M’s continued effort to increase efficiency and reduce costs within food safety labs globally, as well as, improve the documentation and traceability of their indicator testing results. Traceability has drawn increasing attention in legislative and regulatory discussions around the world due to the globalization of the food supply chain and its critical role in protecting public health. Multiple laws – including the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act – either focus on or contain elements specifically addressing the issue.

Results in Four Seconds Flat

After individual 3M Petrifilm Plates are inoculated and incubated, they can be easily loaded into the 3M Petrifilm Plate Reader where they are electronically read and interpreted in about four seconds. Thoroughly tested across a broad range of food types, 3M’s software-enabled technology facilitates compliance by documenting test data as well as storing individual plate images on file. The 3M Petrifilm Plate Reader also automates logging of 128 symbology bar code labels, and allows details related to the technician, food type, food lot and dilution schemes to be electronically stored rather than transcribed by hand. Data can also be easily exported to laboratory information management systems and other reporting tools.

“Variability in colony counts is driven by any number of factors, not limited to, lab technician interpretation differences, missed counts, differing levels of experience, multi-tasking and even time of day and fatigue.” said Jason Semerad, 3M Food Safety global marketing manager. “3M Petrifilm Plate Reader automation eliminates that variability, as well as, transcription errors, while improving overall lab productivity and audit-readiness. Food processors will also appreciate knowing the technology has been expanded to encompass more tests.”

With this newly added functionality, now six of 3M’s eighteen available 3M Petrifilm Plates can be automatically interpreted by the 3M Petrifilm Plate Reader to improve lab efficiency. To receive 3M Petrifilm Plate Reader software version 4.0, or to learn more about the 3M Petrifilm Rapid Aerobic Count Plate and other products, contact your local 3M Food Safety sales representative or call (800) 328-6553 or visit http://3m.com/foodsafety/PetrifilmPPR.

3M Food Safety is a leader of innovative solutions that helps the food and beverage industries optimize the quality and safety of their products to enable consumer protection. It provides solutions that mitigate risk, improve operational efficiencies and benefit the bottom line.