This test is an enumeration of the yeast and mold population of a sample. No identifications are made. However, the resultant data can be applied to internal acceptance criteria for a product or process.
Both yeasts and molds cause various degrees of deterioration and decomposition of foods. They can invade and grow on virtually any type of food at any time; they invade crops such as grains, nuts, beans, and fruits in fields before harvesting and during storage. They also grow on processed foods and food mixtures. Their detectability in or on foods depends on food type, organisms involved, and degree of invasion; the contaminated food may be slightly blemished, severely blemished, or completely decomposed, with the actual growth manifested by rot spots of various sizes and colors, unsightly scabs, slime, white cottony mycelium, or highly colored sporulating mold. Abnormal flavors and odors may also be produced. Occasionally, a food appears mold-free but is found upon mycological examination to be contaminated. Contamination of foods by yeasts and molds can result in substantial economic losses to producer, processor, and consumer.
50g minimum sample is recommended. Environmental surface samples can also be analyzed.
EMSL Test Codes: F103 (Petrifilm AOAC 997.02), F162 (Rapid Petrifilm AOAC 2014.05), F166 (CMMEF 5th Ed. Ch. 21 and FDA BAM Ch. 18)
Sample Retention Time - 30 days, unless highly perishable