APC / Enterobacteriaceae / Coagulase Positive Staphylococci / Escherichia coli on Sponge Swab Proficiency Test

Start date

Product Code

Proficiency Test



Swab (Sponge)


Aerobic Plate Count, Enterobacteriaceae, Coagulase Positive Staphylococci, Escherichia coli

Approx. Size

1 swab



Checking the hygiene of food contact surfaces is considered a fundamental component of Good Manufacturing Practice and is an integral part of any HACCP plan. Environmental swabbing is a powerful tool for the verification of cleaning and sanitation, as well as the investigation of foodborne diseases.

This proficiency test brings together four essential tests in one product to provide a realistic sample for laboratories analysing factory hygiene swabs. This product reflects the real-life laboratory practise of performing multiple tests on a single swab and provides excellent value for money.

The Escherichia coli test doesn’t include any toxin producing, or specifically pathogenic strains, of this organism, and so can be used by routine laboratories to carry out enumeration of E. coli as a key hygiene test for faecal contamination.

Enterobacteriaceae enumeration alongside the E. coli enumerations is used to indicate the risk of presence of faecal pathogens.

The coagulase positive staphylococci associated with foodborne illness could be found in human nose and researches show that 30-40% of the healthy population are carriers. The most important member of coagulase positive staphylococci is Staphylococcus aureus because the microorganism is able to produce enterotoxin which induces food poisoning.

Aerobic Plate Count is used as an indicator for determination of the quantity microorganism able to grow aerobically. Also known as Aerobic mesophilic count, Aerobic Colony Count, Standard Plate Count, Total Plate Count, Total Count or Total Viable Count, this is used to measure the overall microbial load of a swab, indicating the overall hygienic status of the surface. 

The proficiency tests for Enterobacteriaceae and Escherichia coli are suitable for laboratories performing the most probable number (MPN) enumeration methods for Escherichia coli and enterobacteriaceae as well as the widely used pour-plate method. The results for each product should be reported in both units cfu/ml and cfu/swab.

This product is suitable for routine laboratory performance check as well as verification of standardised method or validation of a new laboratory method.

Unlike some providers, this material is created with a real matrix in order to get as close as possible to a real testing challenge.