EFSA’s BIOHAZ panel has, on several occasions, been asked by the European Commission to provide opinions on the possible and appropriate use of microbiological criteria. The BIOHAZ Panel identified the difficulties in providing scientific advice on the use of microbiological criteria while new concepts in this area are being elaborated and when the scope is not completely defined. As a consequence, the BIOHAZ Panel has undertaken this self-tasking issue and prepared a draft opinion on microbiological testing, criteria and other objectives.
The present document aims i) to clarify the links between and possible uses of the concepts Appropriate Level of Protection (ALOP), Food Safety Objective (FSO), Performance Objective (PO), Performance Criteria (PC) and microbiological criteria in relation to opinions on biological hazards and ii) to identify circumstances where the use of microbiological criteria as a tool for defining the acceptance of an end product might be appropriate and likely to improve consumer protection.
EFSA and the ΒΙΟΗΑΖ Panel decided to consult interested parties before the final adoption of this document. The outcome of this consultation will be taken into account during the final adoption of this opinion by EFSA’s BIOHAZ Panel.
See below the Draft Opinion on microbiological testing, criteria and other objectives.