Common food microbiology techniques as used by the food industry and the regulators range from excellent to poor when scored on the usefulness of these techniques to recover stressed microorganisms. Until demonstrated otherwise, it appears prudent to have techniques that will score stressed pathogens and indicator organisms in foods. The usefulness of a method to recover these organisms should be a consideration both in method development and in collaborative study of a method, should it be applicable to foods that might contain these organisms. Once a method is developed that recovers stressed organisms, any standards or guidelines in use should be reevaluated to determine whether they should be changed because of generally greater recovery experienced when a method that resuscitates stressed cells is substituted for a method that does not recover these cells.

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