Microbiological Testing & Interpretation Guidance (2nd Edition) 2016


The 34 page publication sets out the use and interpretation of results from microbiological testing within HACCP. It relates to microbiological testing of food, the environment, raw materials, final product and people, setting out best practice approaches to help chilled food manufacturers ensure legal obligations are met.


This document provides general guidance to chilled food manufacturers, their customers and enforcement authorities on the purpose and interpretation of microbiological testing of environmental samples, of food ingredients and food products. It also clarifies the role of microbiological testing and the interpretation of microbiological results to assist in implementing requirements of the Microbiological Criteria for Foodstuffs Regulation 2073/2005 within HACCP.

The Guidance specifically covers:

  • Purposes of Microbiological Testing
  • Frequency of Sampling
  • Monitoring Points (growing to harvest, raw materials, components and WIP, production environment, water, people, final product, air)
  • How to Sample (environment, food, water, people)
  • Microorganisms for Consideration (indicators and pathogens)
  • Microbiological Specifications
  • Interpretation of Data
  • Effective Communication of Results
  • Shelf life
  • Manufacturers’ and brand owners’ obligations
  • Appendices: Definitions; swabbing & sampling; laboratories; key pathogenic microrganisms