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Understanding TPC in spices


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#1 danh@nutmegspice

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 01:35 PM

Good morning all,

 

Trying to understand Total Plate Count in spices and what is acceptable. I have very limited education in microbiology and i'm stuck on this.

 

We have carried Ginger through 3 suppliers in the past, all 3 gave us a spec sheet showing 100k CFU/g max for TPC. We received a sample from one of our other suppliers. Their spec sheet does not list TPC and after testing their sample, third part lab lists the TPC as 970k.CFU/g. What is acceptable? what is the norm?

 

Just trying to understand exactly what this means, i have not seen a TPC this high in any of my other lots/coas of any item we sell here. I guess what i am asking is if their a regulated number that we cannot go above, i cant find one anywhere. To me, the sample coming back at 970k is dirty/low quality but i'm not sure i have enough experience to make that call.

 

Thank you.



#2 The Food Scientist

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 02:32 PM

Check this:

I used this one to help guide me for our Micro limits:

 

 

https://www.fsis.usd...pdf?MOD=AJPERES


Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown.


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#3 FSQA

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 07:50 PM

Also, see the following thread previously as it could help:

https://www.ifsqn.co...spices-for-usa/

 

 

We have carried Ginger through 3 suppliers in the past, all 3 gave us a spec sheet showing 100k CFU/g max for TPC. We received a sample from one of our other suppliers. Their spec sheet does not list TPC and after testing their sample, third part lab lists the TPC as 970k.CFU/g. What is acceptable? what is the norm?

 

Just trying to understand exactly what this means, i have not seen a TPC this high in any of my other lots/coas of any item we sell here. I guess what i am asking is if their a regulated number that we cannot go above, i cant find one anywhere. To me, the sample coming back at 970k is dirty/low quality but i'm not sure i have enough experience to make that call.

Few things to consider:

 

How many samples did you run for microbial analysis?

What was the sample treated by steam/IRR (method of treatment)?

Do you have any specs in place for your company for TPC? if yes, do the results comply?

 

In simple terms, yes 970k is a high number, but there are factors to consider before making that call (treated vs untreated product)...



#4 Charles.C

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 08:51 PM

Good morning all,

 

Trying to understand Total Plate Count in spices and what is acceptable. I have very limited education in microbiology and i'm stuck on this.

 

We have carried Ginger through 3 suppliers in the past, all 3 gave us a spec sheet showing 100k CFU/g max for TPC. We received a sample from one of our other suppliers. Their spec sheet does not list TPC and after testing their sample, third part lab lists the TPC as 970k.CFU/g. What is acceptable? what is the norm?

 

Just trying to understand exactly what this means, i have not seen a TPC this high in any of my other lots/coas of any item we sell here. I guess what i am asking is if their a regulated number that we cannot go above, i cant find one anywhere. To me, the sample coming back at 970k is dirty/low quality but i'm not sure i have enough experience to make that call.

 

Thank you.

 

As previously noted, the first key question is whether the item is RTE ??????

 

If not, I doubt that any consensus limits exist.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C





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