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What is a Standard Plate Count (SPC)?

AUGUST 2022


Standard Plate Count (SPC) is commonly used interchangeably with APC (Aerobic Plate Count) and TPC (Total Plate Count). This is described by the FDA as “intended to indicate the level of microorganism in a product.” 

What do the numbers mean? Whats the difference between 100k? 1MM?

We categorize our products into buckets based upon the microbiological attributes of each batch. The number correlates to the max limit of its Standard Plate count (SPC). The results of these attributes may be reported on the COA received when the product ships.

What if a product does not have a number in the title? 

If an onion, garlic, or parsley product does not have a number in the title, there will be no SPC, Yeast, Mold of Coliforms reported on the Certificate of Analysis (COA).

Is there an FDA standard for SPC or limit?

There are mandates for testing for specific bacteria, Salmonella and E.Coli. There is no requirement to test and/or report the SPC, Yeast, Mold, and Coliform results for any dried products.

Are higher plate counts unsafe to consume?

Yes and no. Every product and manufacturing process is unique and difficult to broadly define. We recommend consulting with your internal food safety team or an independent 3rd party food safety company to understand and mitigate the food safety risk for your specific product and process.

Factors that you may want to consider with subject matter experts are the secondary shelf-life in the intended application, what other ingredients are added to the finished good, if consumers will cook the end product, etc.

Why are your 100K offerings limited on the website?

Because these are an agricultural product, the natural production of 100K SPC product is limited and often represents a small portion of the crop. Additional processing, such as irradiation or our proprietary NeoPure Processing, is used to reduce the level of pathogens.


Each batch sold of our onion, garlic, and parsley products are tested for E. Coli and Salmonella, which are bacteria known to get humans sick. We do not release any product for sale that has tested positive.

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