Why is Microbial Testing Important?
Microbiological contaminants can cause illness and potentially death for patients with compromised immune systems. Washington state requires that all I-502 recreational marijuana is tested for microbial contamination. Medical growers are strongly advised to test as well.
Microbial contaminants can affect your grow or production facility, resulting in deteriorated and low quality product and substantial loss of revenue.
The safety and health of consumers is of utmost importance to responsible cannabis businesses. Effective quality control leads to higher profits and sustainable production. It is the growers’ responsibility to ensure their product is safe; failure to do so could result in financial ruin. Testing Technologies is committed to ensuring that all cannabis in the recreational and medical markets is safe and free from contamination.
Our microbiologists are trained and experienced in the detection and identification of bacteria, molds, and toxins that can cause deterioration of plants, spoilage of edibles, and illness for the consumer.
Testing Technologies uses the latest technology in microbiology. We are capable of providing rapid analysis and fast turnaround of samples. All testing methods employed are fully validated and recognized by the FDA and the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia.
I-502 Microbiological Panel
The I-502 panel includes all the organisms that Washington state requires. We offer this panel to all I-502 and medical producers and processors for $25. These tests are also included in our full I-502 panel. For additional microbiological services, please contact us.
E. coli - Escherichia coli (abbreviated as E. coli) are a large and diverse group of bacteria that primarily live in the intestines of humans and animals. Most strains of E.coli are harmless, but others can cause severe illness. I-502 regulations require that E.coli is not detected in the sample.
Enterobacteriaceae - This is a large group of of organisms that encompasses approximately 20 genera, including E. coli and all members of the coliform group; in addition, it includes the food-borne pathogens Salmonella, Shigella, and Yersinia. The Enterobacteriaceae may be superior to coliforms as indicators of sanitation practices, because collectively, they have a greater resistance to the environment than the coliforms. I-502 regulations require an Enterobacteriaceae count of 1,000 CFU/g or less.
Salmonella - There is a widespread occurrence of Salmonella in animals, especially in poultry and swine. Environmental sources of the organism include water, soil, insects, factory surfaces, kitchen surfaces, animal feces, raw meats, raw poultry, and raw seafood. Agricultural products have been implemented in a number of Salmonella outbreaks. All age groups are susceptible, but symptoms are most severe in the elderly, infants, and the infirm. AIDS patients suffer salmonellosis frequently (estimated 20-fold more than general population) and suffer from recurrent episodes. I-502 regulations require that E.coli are not detected in the sample.
Aerobic Plate Count (APC) - This test results in an enumeration of the total Aerobic Bacterial population of a sample. No bacterial identifications are made; however, the resulting colony forming unit (CFU) can be applied to internal acceptance criteria for a product or environmental samples. This is also a useful test to gauge freshness of a product or validate sanitation procedures. To be compliant with I-502 regulations, your APC count must be 100,000 CFU/g or less.
Yeast & Mold - Both yeasts and molds cause various degrees of deterioration and decomposition of cannabis & edibles. Several molds—and possibly yeasts—may also be hazardous to human or animal health because of their ability to produce toxic metabolites known as mycotoxins. Most mycotoxins are stable compounds that are not destroyed by processing or when cannabis is smoked. Although most food-borne fungi are not infectious, some species can cause infection, especially in immunocompromised populations, such as the aged and debilitated, HIV-infected individuals, and persons receiving chemotherapy or antibiotic treatment.
Total Coliforms - Coliforms are commonly used as an indicator organism. They are found in lakes, streams, and soil as well as in the digestive tract of humans and animals. While coliforms themselves are not normally causes of serious illness, their presence is used to indicate that other pathogenic organisms of fecal origin may be present. I-502 regulations require samples show a total coliform count of 1,000 CFU/g or less.
Myotoxins - As of August 31, 2017 we will be testing for mycotoxins