Microbiological Food Safety

Microbiological Food Safety

Providing science-based guidance on microbial issues for more efficient food safety systems

Task Force Information

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Publications

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Completed Expert Groups

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Task Force Information

Objectives

The Task Force aims at facilitating the development of harmonised, science-based approaches to predict and prevent risks. Those approaches may serve as decision-making support for regulators and food industry. Reviewing the existing knowledge on current and (re-)emerging pathogen behaviour and ecology is also key.

The Task Force will also try to answer the reason why the pathogens persist by detecting and typing methods, as well as reviewing potential control options available.

Task Force Members

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* Scientific Advisors

Contact Information

For more detailed information, please contact Konrad Korzeniowski at kkorzeniowski@ilsieurope.be

Activity Overview

Ongoing

- Microbiological risk-based decision tool for use of dried spices and herbs, dried vegetables, and dried fruits in foods

Expert group on Microbiological risk-based decision tool for use of dried spices and herbs, dried vegetables, and dried fruits in foods. The objective is to identify the microbiological hazards associated with dried spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Provide a review of the current state of knowledge regarding the incidence and prevalence of foodborne pathogens in dried spices, vegetables, and fruits and how they get contaminated.

In the pipeline

- Microbiological Safety in Food Product Design

The aim is to describe (1) the critical factors needed to ensure that microbiologically safe products are developed and (2) the common pitfalls that can occur during product development. The resultingbpublication will establish clear guardrails and actionsb for microbiologically safe product development ofready-to-eat and non-ready-to-eat foods.

- How pooling can improve sampling calculations and, consequently, risk management?

This activity will detail the advantages and disadvantages, as well as consequences in terms of results, of different pooling approaches to optimise sampling strategies for routine tests during food production and on finished products.

Expert Groups

Microbiological risk-based decision tool for use of dried spices and herbs, dried vegetables, and dried fruits in foods

Background and Objectives

Expert group on Microbiological risk-based decision tool for use of dried spices and herbs, dried vegetables, and dried fruits in foods. The objective is to identify the microbiological hazards associated with dried spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Provide a review of the current state of knowledge regarding the incidence and prevalence of foodborne pathogens in dried spices, vegetables, and fruits and how they get contaminated.

Output

This activity will result in a developing a practical risk-based decision tool for the use of dried spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits for food safety and research & development professionals, including food industry examples.

Expert Group Members

 

WP DataTables

Publications

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Microbiological Food Safety Task Force

FOOD RELATED CONTAMINANTS

This guidance contains a set of approaches to evaluate available data on target pathogens to support the use of validation studies.

In order to ensure safety of food, a number of control measures need to be implemented by the industry. Validation studies are used to provide evidence that the implemented measures are actually capable of controlling the identified hazard.

Potential to limit the occurrence of discrepancies in the information.

By utilising this guidance, actors involved can identify product and process factors that are essential when designing a validation study. They can thus, select the criteria for identifying an appropriate target pathogen or surrogate organism for a food product and process validation.

Designed for a wide range of food-production professionals.

The document helps food manufacturers, processors, and food safety professionals to better understand, plan, and perform validation studies. It offers an overview of the choices and key technical elements of a validation plan, the necessary preparations including assembling the validation team and establishing prerequisite programs, and the elements of a validation report.

Figure from publication MFS 2021
Decision tree to support the decision of when and which validation study approach is most applicable

There is a great interest in the food industry to perform validations in a manner that would be accepted by all parties involved, for example, authorities and customers.

To download this open-access article, please click here.

Scientific abstract Expand

Food manufacturers are required to obtain scientific and technical evidence that a control measure or combination of control measures is capable of reducing a significant hazard to an acceptable level that does not pose a public health risk under normal conditions of distribution and storage. A validation study provides evidence that a control measure is capable of controlling the identified hazard under a worst-case scenario for process and product parameters tested. It also defines the critical parameters that must be controlled, monitored, and verified during processing. This review document is intended as guidance for the food industry to support appropriate validation studies, and aims to limit methodological discrepancies in validation studies that can occur among food safety professionals, consultants, and third-party laboratories. The document describes product and process factors that are essential when designing a validation study, and gives selection criteria for identifying an appropriate target pathogen or surrogate organism for a food product and process validation. Guidance is provided for approaches to evaluate available microbiological data for the target pathogen or surrogate organism in the product type of interest that can serve as part of the weight of evidence to support a validation study. The document intends to help food manufacturers, processors, and food safety professionals to better understand, plan, and perform validation studies by offering an overview of the choices and key technical elements of a validation plan, the necessary preparations including assembling the validation team and establishing prerequisite programs, and the elements of a validation report.

Keywords Expand

critical control points, inactivation, pathogen, preventive control, process validation

Range of nonthermal processing techniques in this study: 10 + the critical parameters for their application and examples. Key factors to consider related to the product 8 They are used to determine process efficiency and whether the target pathogen is capable of growth in product. Food categories for which examples of common pathogens of concern are given 19 + the situations posing increased risk.

Validation studies are necessary even when safe harbors are available to ensure correct implementation of control measures.

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Multimedia

Introductory video:

One-Pager

Completed Expert Groups