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Establishment and use of microbiological criteria - standards, specifications and guidelines - for food 2nd edn 2017

The safety of food is a top priority for food manufacturers. Microbiological criteria are a key part of a product specification. They are used to help define the acceptability of a batch of foodstuffs, and can be applied at key points in the ‘life’ of a foodstuff – from raw ingredient to final product. Microbiological criteria can be legal entities or can be self-imposed by food business operators to help to improve quality.

This second edition of Guideline 52 details the importance and development of microbiological criteria. It describes what microbiological criteria are, as well as explaining how a microbiological criterion could be set for different circumstances relating to food production. The Microbiological Criteria Database (MERCADO) is a compilation of published microbiological criteria, available as a searchable database providing a comprehensive, informed and up-to-date user reference. Utilising this information will help the user to mke an informed decision relating to the particular question in hand.

Guideline 52 can be utilised on its own but also provides an introduction to the material which can be accessed from the database. Users of MERCADO are strongly advised to read Guideline 52 before accessing the database. For further information and subscription details relating to MERCADO please click here