ISO 21149:2017 gives general guidelines for enumeration and detection of aerobic mesophilic bacteria present in cosmetics
- by counting the colonies on agar medium after aerobic incubation, or
- by checking the absence of bacterial growth after enrichment.
Because of the large variety of cosmetic products within this field of application, this method may not be appropriate for some products in every detail (e.g. certain water immiscible products). Other methods (e.g. automated) may be substituted for the tests presented here provided that their equivalence has been demonstrated or the method has been otherwise shown to be suitable.
If needed, microorganisms enumerated or detected may be identified using suitable identification tests described in the standards given in the Bibliography.
In order to ensure product quality and safety for consumers, it is advisable to perform an appropriate microbiological risk analysis to determine the types of cosmetic products to which this document is applicable. Products considered to present a low microbiological risk (see ISO 29621) include those with low water activity, hydro-alcoholic products, extreme pH values, etc.