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Total Bacteria Count

Typical colonies in plate count agar

Total Bacteria Count (TBC), also known as Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC), Heterotrophic Colony Count (HCC), Aerobic Plate Count (APC), Total Plate Count (TPC), or Standard Plate Count (SPC), represents the total bacterial load in a given sample. It is a test to detect all viable microorganisms that could grow aerobically on plate count agar at appropriate incubation condition (usually 37°C, 48hrs). The TBC tests could reflect the general hygiene condition of a sample. Guideline values of TBC depends on nature of samples, and they may be varied in different countries. The following shows some of the guideline values of TBC.

  • Swimming Pool Water - not exceed 200 cfu/mL (Hong Kong)

  • Drinking Water - not exceed 100 cfu/mL (China)

  • Cooling Tower Water - not exceed 10,000 cfu/mL (Hong Kong)

  • Ready-to-eat Food (Satisfactory Level) - < 10 to 1,000,000 cfu/g depends on food types (Hong Kong)

cfu = colony forming unit

Enviro Labs Ltd. (ELL) holds HOKLAS accreditation for testing Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC) or Aerobic Plate Count (APC) in water, wastewater, marine water, and food samples. Call us at 2676 2983 or e-mail for details of the services.

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