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All of these mean the same thing. This test is an enumeration of the total aerobic bacterial count of a sample. The results are reported as CFU’s (colony forming unit) and can be a useful test to validate cleaning and sanitation methods. It can be used as part of the acceptance criteria for products as well as gauge the freshness.
This test normally takes 48 hrs.
Coliforms are referred to as “indicator organisms”. They are not pathogenic by themselves, but their presence indicates that the conditions are favorable for pathogens to be present. Generic E. coli is a coliform, but is fecal in origin. Total coliform and E. coli test is a way to assess the cleanliness of the area or the food. It can also show the potential for additional contamination.