MICROBIOLOGICAL SCREENING SERVICES
Microbiological testing is done based on Colony Forming Units (CFUs) per gram of product (or 10g of product for foods) We look for a large breadth of contaminants and we can do so at 3 different levels, we’re calling them Gold, Silver and Bronze. Gold is modeled after USP levels for dried botanicals, Silver is like NSF/WHO level (international standards) and Bronze is AHPA levels. We look for 3 different types of organisms at the level selected when the test is requested (those we test for inform us what level they would like the test run at – Bronze, Silver, Gold).
|Total Aerobic Count (TAC) (Gold = 100,000 [10^5], Silver = 1,000,000 [10^6], Bronze = 10,000,000 [10^7])|
|Enterobacteria (ENT) (Gold = 1,000 [10^3], Silver = 10,000 [10^4], Bronze = 100,000 [10^5])|
|Yeasts and Molds (YM) (Gold = 1,000 [10^3], Silver = 10,000 [10^4], Bronze = 100,000 [10^5])|
The exponent numbers (^5) are basically the total number of zero’s you have after the 1. For example, 10^6 = 1,000,000 (one million). For perspective, each colony forming unit is about 1 million organisms or more! That means, the biggest number we look at, being Bronze TAC at 10^7 = 10,000,000 (ten million) colonies of 1 million or more organisms (at least 10,000,000,000,000 total – ten trillion) in only one gram of material!
This type of testing represents covering up to three different standards levels for botanical products. Each level is deemed acceptable for human use at some recognized standard. Each medicinal cannabis patient is asked to consider their ailment and their needs to understand which level might be most suitable for them until a more universal standard is accepted.