Scientific Opinion on the maintenance of the list of QPS microorganisms intentionally added to food or feed (2009 update)

Qualified presumption of safety, QPS, food, feed
First published in the EFSA Journal
21 décembre 2009
10 décembre 2009
Scientific Opinion


EFSA is requested to assess the safety of a broad range of biological agents in the context of notifications for market authorisation as sources of food and feed additives, enzymes and plant protection products. The qualified presumption of safety (QPS) concept was developed by EFSA for its own use to provide a generic food safety assessment approach applicable across EFSA’s scientific Panels, for biological agents notified for intentional use in the whole food chain. The safety of unambiguously defined biological agents at the highest taxonomic unit that is appropriate for the purpose for which an application is intended are assessed, considering if the body of knowledge is sufficient. Identified safety concerns for a taxonomic unit could be reflected as ‘qualifications’ when considered appropriate for an inclusion on the QPS list. The list of QPS recommended biological agents is reviewed and updated annually. The 2009 update reviews the previously assessed microorganisms including bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi and assesses several additional notifications concerning gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and yeasts. Lactobacillus cellobiosus, L. collinoides, Propionibacterium acidopropionici and Oenococcus oeni were included in the QPS list. No filamentous fungi were included because of potential production of toxic metabolites. For the first time viruses were assed. Insect viruses (Baculovirideae) and in the case of zucchini yellow mosaic viruses the Potyvirideae family as the highest possible taxonomic unit were added to the QPS list. Bacteriophages were considered as not appropriate for the QPS list. A potential presence of antimycotic resistance of yeasts referred to on the QPS list was considered. It was concluded that yeast strains resistant to antimycotics used for treatment of infections in humans might be of public health concern.

Panel members at the time of adoption

John Daniel Collins, Birgit Noerrung, Herbert Budka, Olivier Andreoletti; Sava Buncic; John Griffin; Tine Hald; Arie Hendric Havelaar; James Hope; Günter Klein; James McLauchlin; Winy Messens; Christine Müller-Graf; Christophe Nguyen-The; Peixe Luisa; Miguel Prieto Maradona; Antonia Ricci; John Sofos; John Threlfall; Ivar Vågsholm; Emmanuel Vanopdenbosch
Panel on Biological Hazards
biohaz [at]
EFSA Journal 2009; 7(12)1431
Question Number
On request from