Microbial Analysis



Microbiological testing methods

Anandia Labs microbiological testing is performed in accordance to European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.) methods 2.6.12, 2.6.13, and 2.6.31. Anandia has received Emerald Badges for Microbial Panels 1 and 2 of the Emerald Test™, an Inter-Laboratory Comparison and Proficiency Test (ILC/PT) program for cannabis testing labs.

Table 1. Overview of Anandia’s microbiological testing services

Test Ph. Eur. Method Equivalent Methods Amount for testing LOD* Ph. Eur. 5.1.8 Table C (Default) LOD* Ph. Eur. 5.1.8 Table B
Total aerobic microbial count (TAMC) 2.6.12 USP 61 10g 10,000 CFU/g 1,000 CFU/g
Total yeast and mold count (TYMC) 2.6.12 USP 61 10g 1,000 CFU/g 100 CFU/g
Bile-tolerant gram-negative bacteria (BTGN) 2.6.31   1g <10E2 CFU/g <10 CFU/g
Salmonella spp. 2.6.31   25g Presence/Absence
2.6.13 USP 62 10g
Escherichia coli 2.6.31 USP 62 1g Presence/Absence
Pseudomonas aeruginosa 2.6.13 USP 62 1g Presence/Absence
Staphylococcus aureus 2.6.13 USP 62 1g Presence/Absence

LOD = Limit of detection
Ph. Eur. = European Pharmacopoeia
USP = United States Pharmacopeia
CFU = Colony forming units
* Lower LOD testing available for TAMC and TYMC—please contact us for more information

Microbiology test variations

Microbial: ACMPR Test Group” includes total aerobic microbial count (TAMC), total yeast & mold count (TYMC), bile-tolerant gram negative bacteria (BTGN), Escherichia coli (E. coli), and Salmonella spp. testing only. Dilutions appropriate for Ph. Eur. 5.1.8 Table C limits, and a 25g Salmonella test are assumed by default unless otherwise indicated on the chain of custody (COC).

Ph. Eur. 5.1.8 Table B vs Table C

Ph. Eur. lists different acceptable microbial limits depending on the material tested. Ph. Eur. 5.1.8 Table C is intended for products which were not processed or manipulated (such as dried plant material). Ph. Eur. 5.1.8 Table B is intended for processed products (like oils). Anandia Labs can test plant materials and processed products for either set of limits. Ph. Eur. 5.1.8 Table C is assumed by default, unless otherwise indicated on the COC.

The different acceptance criterion for Ph. Eur. 5.1.8 Table C versus Ph. Eur. 5.1.8 Table B are summarized in Table 2:

Table 2. Comparison of acceptance criteria

Test Ph. Eur. 5.1.8 Table C limits Ph. Eur. 5.1.8 Table B limits
TAMC <500,000 CFU/g or CFU/mL <50,000 CFU/g or CFU/mL
TYMC <50,000 CFU/g or CFU/mL <500 CFU/g or CFU/mL
BTGN MPN: <10,000 CFU/g or CFU/mL MPN: <100 CFU/g or CFU/mL
E. coli Absent in 1 gram or 1 mL
Salmonella Absent from 25 grams or 25 mL

CFU = colony-forming unit; MPN= most probable number

Salmonella: 10 g versus 25 g

Ph. Eur. 2.6.31 requires 25 g or 25 mL of material to be tested for Salmonella (as specified in Table 2).

Ph. Eur. 2.6.13 and USP 62 specifies the use of no less than 10 g or 10 mL of product for the detection of Salmonella.

Anandia Labs can perform Salmonella testing with either 25 g or 10 g (or mL in the case of liquids) . We can also test a smaller amount if the client prefers not to use such a large sample size. A 25 g Salmonella test is assumed by default, unless otherwise specified on the chain of custody form.

Acceptance criteria for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus can be found in chapter Ph. Eur. 5.1.4.

Additional microbiological identification tests such as mold spore identification, biochemical characterization/identification, or bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequencing are available upon request.

For more information about the available microbiological test variations and additional testing protocols, please contact us.


Microbiological Hygiene Consulting

Our microbiology team is specialized in hygiene assessments, and can conduct microbial sampling of the air and surfaces in your cultivation and processing facilities. A Hygiene Assessment includes a visual assessment and sampling for:

  • Fungal spores in air
  • Surface contamination
  • Swabs for bacterial and fungal viability testing and enumeration
  • Tapelifts for direct identification of mold spores by microscopy

Results are documented in a detailed report with recommendations, if needed.
Please contact us to learn more about these services or to request a quote.