Food Testing

Environmental Testing & Consultancy Services Ltd is your first line of defense for environmental monitoring and food testing. We are the leading food testing laboratory in Saint Lucia undertaking the analysis of food, food products, beverages, feed and environmental swabs.

Food testing helps determine if your food contains any harmful bacteria including Staphylococcus Aureus, Salmonella, Listeria, Bacillus Cereus, E.coli mold etc. Routine food testing for pathogens is important to ensure that you are processing, plating and preparing food in a safe pathogen free environment.

The most common tests done for pathogen testing are Staphylococcus S.aureusSalmonellaListeria and E.coli O157:H7.  All these types of bacteria can be potential pathogens (organisms that make you sick).

Staphylococcus aureus

  • Also known as Coagulase-Positive “Staph”
  • Used as an indicator of food handling practices
  • Some types naturally occur on human skin, but Staphylococcus aureus can colonize when there is an open sore or wound
  • Passed into the food through coughing/sneezing, or by direct handling by workers with lesions
  • If temperature abuse occurs, can grow to high levels and produce a toxin that can cause foodborne illness
  • Testing recommended for food products with more “hands on” process that will not be reheated before consumption

Listeria monocytogenes

  • Species of bacteria naturally found in soil, also associated with a wide variety of animals and insects
  • Easily introduced into any type of food processing facility  
  • Some Listeria species are pathogenic, but
  • Listeria monocytogenes can be very dangerous for high risk populations
    1. Very young
    2. Elderly
    3. Immuno-compromised
    4. Pregnant women and fetuses
  • The USDA has issued regulations for Listeria testing in food processing facilities that deal with meat
  • Common misconception that Listeria only prefers wet and cold environments

Because of the nature of this organism, it is a good idea for ANY and ALL types of food facilities to do environmental monitoring to make sure that Listeria is not present.


  • Association with chicken and raw eggs
  • Caused illness in many different types of products due to improper cooking, improper handling and cross contamination
  • Very few cells are needed to cause illness, so the presence of any Salmonella in the food processing plant or food product is a food safety risk
  • Salmonella environmental testing in egg, poultry, and dry operation facilities may be beneficial as there is a higher risk for contamination

E.coli O157:H7

  • Pathogenic  E.coli, causes very serious food borne illness
  • Commonly associated with ground beef
  • Recently has caused significant problems in produce
  • Also caused illness from un-pasteurized juicesand raw milk
  • USDA regulates the meat industry and requires testing for this organism.
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