meat packages affected by Cl. estertheticum

Meat Spoilage

Cl. estertheticum QPCR

Cl. estertheticum "blown-pack" spoilage causes substantial economic losses to the meat industry each year.

Since 1997 we have offered the meat industry a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to detect Cl. estertheticum in samples taken from meat and the abattoir environment. In 2003 we developed a state of the art quantitative (Q) PCR to detect and quantify Cl. estertheticum in samples submitted for testing by the meat industry. To date we have used this assay to test more than 52,000 samples for the meat industry.

Other Meat Spoilage Tests

We can investigate meat spoilage caused by other factors/microbes/species of Clostridium, please contact us for details.

Contact Details


Tel: 07890 653807 or 0117 9289412

Online SubmissionC.ester Publications



How to submit samples

1. We normally request that samples are collected using plain dry swabs, moistened if necessary (e.g. for environmental samples) with sterile water or diluent such as peptone saline (maximum recovery diluent). Suitable samples include, plain cotton swabs (see below), meat, or drip from vac-packed meat. No transport medium of any kind should be included. In particular, do not use swabs that have been dipped in "neutralising diluent", as this usually gives invalid results. 

2. Please complete our online submission form. Samples should be submitted along with a purchase order number and contact details. If samples have been taken from suspect, blown or spoiled vac-packed meat please indicate this.

3. You will receive a confirmation e-mail. Please print this out, sign it and include with your samples.

4. Test prices are shown below:
Between 1 and 19 samples - £25+VAT per sample
Twenty or more samples - £23+VAT per sample
Invoices are generated on a weekly basis and payment can be made by our secure online payment system 

5. Please post the samples to:
Chris Hayes
University of Bristol
BS40 5DU

Swabs can be sent through the post without cool bags.

6. The test is usually performed twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday with results being emailed by Wednesday and Friday.