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Contamination of water is a major concern in both the food industry and the environmental sphere. E.coli is considered an indicator organism for faecal contamination, and can also be used to indicate the presence of biofilms.

the food industry

Biofilms are communities of bacteria that form in moist environments. From the food industry point of view, where-ever there is a moist water line or pipe that has a place for those first bacteria to hold onto (such as O-rings and joints), biofilms are likely to form. More bacteria join onto the biofilm, forming a community of millions of bacteria working together. As it grows, the outer layers start to slough off, resulting in millions of bacteria ending up in batches of food or on packaging material.

The problem is that the disinfectants cannot reach the bacteria deep inside the biofilm – so you think you are sorting out your lines with disinfectants, but the bacteria survive and thrive in the biofilm.

The solution is to frequently monitor your water source for bacteria. Many biofilms contain E.coli in them. By monitoring the water for E.coli, you will stand a good chance of finding that elusive biofilm that has formed.

the environment

Water bodies contaminated by faeces is a major problem in the environment. Not only is there the chance of people getting sick when they drink, wash or swim in the water, the finely tuned aqua-ecosystem is also affected negatively. Frequent monitoring of water systems is expensive and time consuming. Furthermore, the accuracy of the results are often not great due to logistical reasons of getting the samples to a laboratory in good time.

The solution is to be able to monitor water bodies for E.coli and sources cheaply and with minimal time delays in-between sampling and processing of those samples.

the solution

Micro Food Lab has developed (using existing, proven technology) E.coli water tests that allow easy and cost effective monitoring of water bodies. The test features:

  • they are low cost in comparison to laboratory tests,
  • they will give qualitative results within 24 hours of sampling,
  • are easy to use and read.


  • 10ml E.coli water test kit – R35.00ea 
  • 100ml E.coli water test kit – R110.00ea
  • Belt “body” incubator – R300 (once off cost)
  • Micro Food Lab incubator – R6500.00ea (once off cost), however, most other incubators can be used, so if you already own one, it is not necessary to buy the Micro Food Lab incubator.


Praecautio E.coli water test  – brochure

Praecautio E.coli water test – sensitivity and turn-around times trials

Praecautio E.coli water test – inter laboratory validation tests

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