General Terms and Definitions
Below are some of the abbreviations, terms, and odds/end that may be used at Cherney. This section will provide so base knowledge about what they mean and how they are used.
What do all of these abbreviations mean?
We use a lot of abbreviations because there are so many long terms out there. Below is a lot of the terms used in the lab.

A2LA: American Association of Laboratory Accreditation
Analyte: Individual or composited sample being tested in our lab.
AOAC: American Association of Analytical Communities – International Official Methods of Analysis
APC: Aerobic Plate Count. Used as an indicator of bacterial populations on a sample. It is also called the aerobic colony count, standard plate count, Mesophilic count or Total Plate Count.
ARF: Analysis Request Form
aw : Water Activity
BAM: Bacteriological Analytical Manual (FDA Publication)
CDC: Center for Disease Control
CFU: Colony Forming Unit
CMMEF: Compendium of Methods for the Microbiological Examination of Foods
CoA: Certificate of Analysis. This is the final report that is issued to the customer at the completion of testing.
COD: Cash on demand customer; must be paid for before testing is started.
DNA: Deoxyribonucleic Acid
EB: Enterobacteriaceae ( family of Bacteria)
ELFA: Enzyme Linked Fluorescence Assay
ELISA: Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay
EM: Environmental Monitoring
FDA: Food and Drug Association
FSMA: Food Safety Modernization Act
FSPCA: Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance
GAP: Good Agricultural Practices
GC: Gas Chromatograph
GDP: Good Documentation Practices
GLP: Good Laboratory Practices
GMP: Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP: current Good Manufacturing Practices)
HACCP: Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Plan
HEPA: High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter
HPC MF: Heterotrophic Plate Count Membrane Filtration
HPC: Heterotrophic Plate Count; test used to analyze water for a total bacterial coun.
HPLC: High Pressure Liquid Chromatography
IAFP: International Association for Food Protection
ISO: International Organization for Standardization
IMS: Interstate milk shippers who have been certified by Milk Sanitation Rating Officers (SROs) as having attained the identified milk sanitation compliance and enforcement ratings are on the IMS List. These ratings/certifications are based on compliance with the requirements of the latest revision of the USPHS/FDA Grade "A" Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) and were made in accordance with the procedures set forth in the latest revision of the Methods of Making Sanitation Rating of Milk Shippers and the Certifications/Listings of Single Service Containers and/or Closures for Milk and/or Milk Products Manufacturers (MMSR).
LAB: Lactic Acid Bacteria. The lactic acid bacteria are a group of Gram-positive bacteria, non-respiring non-spore-forming, cocci or rods, which produce lactic acid as the major end product of the fermentation of carbohydrates.
Method of Analysis (MoA): Instructions for standard testing methods.
mL: Milliliters
MPN: Most Probable Number is a method used to estimate the concentration of viable microorganisms in a sample by means of replicate liquid broth growth in ten-fold dilutions. Each dilution can have 3, 5, or 10 tubes depending on the method used. Typically MPN’s are used for water/waste water; coliforms, and heterofermentative LAB.
MUG: 4-methylumbelliferyl-ß-D-glucuronide. Added to media for detection of generic E.coli; does not detect E. coli O157:H7.
RAC: A raw agricultural commodity (RAC) is any food in its raw or natural state, including all fruits that are washed, colored, or otherwise treated in their unpeeled natural form prior to marketing.
OMA: Official Methods of Analysis. AOAC designation for method validation that includes a collaborative study.
OOS: Out of Specification
PCQI: Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (FSMA term). A qualified individual who has successfully completed training in the development and application of risk-based preventive controls at least equivalent to that received under a standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by FDA or is otherwise qualified through job experience to develop and apply a food safety system.
PCR: Polymerase Chain Reaction. A single copy (or more) of a DNA sequence is exponentially amplified to generate thousands to millions of more copies of that particular DNA segment, which can be detected based on different detection principles.
PMO: Pasteurized Milk Ordinance. The regulatory guidance for Interstate Milk Shippers.
ppb: Parts Per Billion
PPE: Personal Protective Equipment
ppm: Parts Per Million, equivalent to mg/kg.
QC: Quality Control
QI: Qualified Individual (FSMA term). A person who has the education, training, or experience, (or a combination thereof) necessary to manufacture, process, pack or hold clean and safe food as appropriate to the individual’s assigned duties. A qualified individual may or may not be an employee of the establishment.
RCS: Rotary Centrifugal Sampler; a type of air sampler for bacteria and Y&M.
RNA: Ribonucleic Acid
RODAC: Replicate Organism Detection and Counting. A small agar plate for enumeration of organisms from a surface.
SAL: Sterility Assurance Level
SAS: Surface Air System (active air sampler)
SDS: Safety Data Sheets (formerly MSDS, Material Safety Data Sheet)
SMEDP: Standard Methods for the Examination of Dairy Products
SOP: Standard Operating Procedure, Demonstrates proper Lab technique. When followed correctly all lab results can be replicated.
SPC: Standard Plate Count. See APC (Aerobic Plate Count).
Spec: Spectrophotometer, Measures wavelengths and absorbency of liquid samples
STEC: Shiga Toxin-producing E.coli (pathogenic E.coli)
TNTC: Too Numerous To Count
TSA: Trypticase Soy Agar (a.k.a. SCDA: Soybean Casein Digest Agar)
TSB: Trypticase Soy Broth (a.k.a. SCDB: Soybean Casein Digest Broth)
USDA: US Department of Agriculture
USP: United States Pharmacopeia
VIDAS: Enzyme Linked Fluorescent Assay that uses an antigen-antibody reaction for the detection of a target organism. Automated Multiparametric Immunoassay System for Pathogen Detection.
VIDAS UP: recombinant phage protein-based technology; for detection of Salmonella and Listeria
VRBA: Violet Red Bile Agar; used for recovery of Coliforms.
VRBGA: Violet Red Bile Glucose Agar; used for recovery of Enterobacteriaceae.
VRBA with MUG: Violet Red Bile Agar with MUG; used for recovery of generic E. coli.
WO: Work Order
Y/M: Yeast and Mold, Y&M
Z Score: Numerical way to assess performance in a proficiency program. Comparison to an assigned value.
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