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Comparison of 3M™ Petrifilm™ Aerobic Count Plates to Standard Plating Methodology for Use with AOAC Antimicrobial Efficacy Methods 955.14, 955.15, 964.02, and 966.04 as an Alternative Enumeration Procedure: Collaborative Study

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A multilaboratory study was conducted to determine the equivalence of the 3M™ Petrifilm™ Aerobic Count Plate and standard plating methodology for measuring viable bacteria and spores recovered from hard-surface carriers (stainless steel and porcelain), also known as "control carrier counts," used in AOAC antimicrobial efficacy test methods. Six laboratories participated in the study in which carriers inoculated with Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella enterica, and spores of Bacillus subtilis were evaluated using 3M Petrifilm Aerobic Count (AC) plates and standard plating side-by-side. The data were analyzed using a matched-pair t-test to determine the between-method effect with confidence intervals. For all test organisms pooled across all laboratories, the mean difference in log10 concentration between the standard plate count method and 3M Petrifilm AC Plates was −0.012, with a 95% confidence interval of (−0.090, +0.066), which was well within the −0.5, +0.5 interval established as the acceptance criterion. The between-carrier SD averaged 0.139; the between-replicate SD was 0.050. The carrier reproducibility, given that a single replicate per carrier is done, was estimated to be 0.148. Although differences were seen in the final concentrations of the test organisms among laboratories, there were no statistical differences between the enumeration methods. Based on the results from this study, 3M Petrifilm AC Plates are equivalent to standard plating methodology and can be used as an alternative procedure for the enumeration of test organisms used in AOAC Methods 955.14, 955.15, 964.02, and 966.04.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2013

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  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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