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Most bacteria need nutrients to survive. TCS food supports the growth of bacteria better than other types of food.


Bacteria grow best in food that contains little or no acid. pH is the measure of acidity. The pH scales ranges from 0 to 14.0. A value of 0 is highly acidic, while a value of 14 is highly alkaline. A pH of 7 is neutral. Bacteria grows best in food that is neutral to slightly acidic.


Bacteria grow well in food with high levels of moisture. The amount of moisture available in food for this growth is called water activity. The aw scale ranges from 0.0 to 1.0. The higher the value, the more available moisture in the food. Foe example, water has a water activity of 1.0.