Total Coliform MPN
Total Coliform Petrifilm*
Total Coliform Pour*
Total Coliform Membrane Filtration

Method References

3M™ Petrifilm™ Coliform Count Plate Interpretation Guide, 2017
Compendium of Methods for the Microbial Examination of Foods; 5th Edition
Standard Methods for the Examination of Dairy Products, 17th Edition
FDA BAM Chapter 4
AOAC 966.24
Standard Methods for the Examination of Water & Wastewater, 21st Edition

Sample Size


Estimated Turn Around Time

Petrifilm/Pour: 24 hours
MPN: 48 hours (If presumptive tubes, additional 24-48 hours)
Membrane Filtration: 24 hours (If presumptive colonies, additional 48 hours)

Reporting Unit

Petrifilm/Pour: cfu/g, cfu/mL, cfu/sampled area
Membrane Filtration: /100 mL

Method Description

Petrifilm/Pour: Samples are prepared and dilutions are made. Incubated and removed after 24 hours. Plates are then counted, and colonies followed up if presumptive.
MPN: Samples are prepared and 3 dilutions (3 tubes each) are made. Incubated, check at 24 hours, and read at 48 hours. Any gassing or clouded tubes are plated for confirmations.
Membrane Filtration: 100 mL (unless otherwise directed) is filtered via filtration system. Filter is placed on agar plate and incubated. Pulled at 24 hours and plates read. Any presumptive colonies are followed up.

Additional Information

Coliform bacteria are organisms that are present in the environment and in the feces of all warm-blooded animals and humans. Coliforms are typically used as an indicator organism for products or the environment.
Also see Escherichia coli (E.coli), as these are typically performed together.

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