The following information is from the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website and is included here with permission.
Standard 1.6.1 – Microbiological Limits for Food became part of the Food Standards Code in December 2000. Developments since that time mean there is a need to review the standard’s current requirements.
These include more recent scientific evidence about specific food safety concerns, development of preventative food safety standards; food safety programs for high risk businesses and primary production and processing standards.
Work has also progressed internationally on using different risk management tools in a food safety control system. Microbiological criteria have also been established for Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods and Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella spp in powdered infant formula.
FSANZ has prepared a background paper outlining issues to be covered in the review and the principles and guidelines that will underpin this work.
What is being considered in the review?
Criteria for Listeria monocytogenes
- Consistency with associated guidance material (e.g. the Recall Guidelines for Packaged Ready-to-Eat Foods Found to Contain Listeria monocytogenes at Point of Sale).
- Alignment with recently finalised international (Codex) standards (e.g. Listeria monocytogenes in RTE foods).
Microbiological limits for indicator/index organisms
- Suitability for regulatory purposes.
- Use as process hygiene criteria (application at various points in production).
Reference to prescribed methods of analysis
- Current reference to Australian/New Zealand Standard Methods for Food Microbiology 1766.
Limits for infant formula
- Alignment with recently finalised international (Codex) standards (e.g. Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella in infant formula).
Relevance of some microbiological limits in the context of recently finalised food safety standards.
How will the review work?
The review will be broken up into stages. In 2012 FSANZ will be working on:
- developing microbiological criteria for L. monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods in line with international approaches
- updating microbiological reference/guidance criteria (taking into account existing guideline documents)
- reviewing microbiological criteria for powdered infant formula
- reviewing criteria for raw milk products.
Would you like to be kept informed of progress?
Transparency and public consultation are an important part of the standards development process. If you wish to be placed on a mailing list for future advice on changes to Standard 1.6.1, contact the Standards Management Officer at email@example.com