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Chapter 4 : Microbiological Criteria and Indicator Microorganisms

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Abstract:

The concepts and principles for the establishment of microbiological criteria were elaborated in the mid-1980s by the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF). Microbiological criteria have traditionally been developed around significant pathogens, relevant commensals, and hygiene indicators as reflected in the ICMSF cases. They are widely used today to discriminate between acceptable and unacceptable lots of food products. The evolution of the traditional metrics, including microbiological criteria, to include additional risk-based metrics has taken place over recent years. This includes a better understanding of the performance and limitations of microbiological criteria. This chapter provides a framework for the microbiological risk management (MRM) process to Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) as well as to CAC members and member organizations. It also provides guidance to the food industry and other stakeholders who design, validate, and implement control measures ensuring the manufacture of safe food that consistently achieves the targets defined in the MRM metrics. The food safety objectives (FSO) metric expresses the maximum frequency and/or concentration of a pathogen in a food item at the time of consumption that provides or contributes to the appropriate level of protection defined by a government. A section illustrates the limitations of sampling plans for finished products to ensure their safety. It emphasizes the need to place microbiological testing in the broader framework of the overall food safety management system.

Citation: Cordier J. 2013. Microbiological Criteria and Indicator Microorganisms, p 81-90. In Doyle M, Buchanan R (ed), Food Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818463.ch4
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Figures

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Figure 4.1

Schematic flow diagram of a food process, including raw materials (RM), a heat treatment (Heat), and food contact surfaces in the processing line (PL) as well as the processing environment located after the heat treatment (PE) up to the finished product (FP). doi:10.1128/9781555818463.ch4f1

Citation: Cordier J. 2013. Microbiological Criteria and Indicator Microorganisms, p 81-90. In Doyle M, Buchanan R (ed), Food Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818463.ch4
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References

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1. Buchanan, R. L. 2000. Acquisition of microbiological data to enhance food safety. J. Food Prot. 63:832838.
2.Codex Alimentarius Commission. 1997. Principles for the Establishment and Application of Microbiological Criteria for Foods. CAC/GL 21-1997. Food and Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization, Rome, Italy.
3.Codex Alimentarius Commission. 2007. Principles and Guidelines for the Conduct of Microbiological Risk Management (MRM). CAC/GL 63-2007. Food and Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization, Rome, Italy.
4.Codex Alimentarius Commission. 2007. Guidelines on the Application of General Principles of Food Hygiene to the Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Foods. CAC/GL 61-2007. Food and Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization, Rome, Italy.
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18. Van Schothorst, M.,, M. H. Zwietering,, T. Ross,, R. L. Buchanan,, M. B. Cole, and the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods. 2009. Relating microbiological criteria to Food Safety Objectives and Performance Objectives. Food Control 20:967979.

Tables

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Table 4.1

Example of the performance of sampling plans for the 15 ICMSF cases

Citation: Cordier J. 2013. Microbiological Criteria and Indicator Microorganisms, p 81-90. In Doyle M, Buchanan R (ed), Food Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818463.ch4

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