How rapid-method plating systems keeps food testing quick and easy

When you work in the rapid-turn world of food manufacturing and food safety testing, every step counts. Two food safety technical service specialists show us how simple and easy it is to use 3M™ Petrifilm™ Plates.

“Your media is ready to go when you are,” says Cari Lingle, a microbiologist in 3M’s Food Safety Department. “You can walk into your lab, prepare your samples and it only takes a few minutes.”

She adds that you don’t need to have any special or unique labels to use the plates. There is plenty of space to attach a bar code or use a marker to write directly on the product, depending on your lab protocol.

Alec Teagarden, a 3M Food Safety microbiologist, adds that the ready-made plates allow for consistent movement.

“You can keep a continuous motion going because you can lift the film with one hand,” he says. “You don’t have to put down your pipette while you work.”

The plates are more efficient to use than other methods, especially compared to traditional agar testing. Food safety lab technicians can spend hours preparing Petri dishes for microbial analysis. They can reduce the amount of time spent preparing tests by about 45 percent. A study of 292 U.S. food-processing plants showed that 3.7 hours of technicians’ time was saved per day by using 3M Petrifilm Plates*.

Technicians just follow three simple steps: inoculate (no prep needed), incubate using a compact incubator and interpret by counting colonies easily detected thanks to chromogenic indicators.

Save time and space

Plus, 3M Petrifilm Plates are paper-thin, and allow for more open room on your countertops and in storage areas. “They are so thin, you can stack them and sort them easily, almost like a deck of cards,” says Cari.  Once your samples are plated, she adds, they don’t take long to sort and put in the correct incubator. Once the plates have finished incubating, they are easy to sort through to see which plates need to be counted.

The 3M Petrifilm Plates also make visual assessments easy. The color-coded packaging tell you which plates you need for your test. And it’s easy to take inventory of the samples in your fridge because the color coded packaging makes visual evaluation simpler. The plates are smaller than agar and other dry film media, and the storage and incubation space that is needed is typically smaller.

And there’s another big bonus – you can save water and energy. Compared to traditional agar methods, a study conducted by the 3M Environmental Laboratory shows they that you’ll use 76 percent less energy and 79 percent less water. The study also shows the 3M Petrifilm Plates emit 75 percent less greenhouse gas and produce 66 percent less waste than agar methods.

Get results up to twice as fast as traditional methods.

Developed by the experts from 3M Food Safety, the 3M Petrifilm Rapid Plate Portfolio contains all of the existing benefits of the existing Petrifilm Plates Portfolio, with the addition of a line of easy-to-use Plates with rapid results. Whatever your testing process, 3M Food Safety can help you find the 3M™ Petrifilm™ solution that’s right for you.

Learn more about the 3M Petrifilm Rapid Plate Portfolio.

Save waste. Save space. Save time.