Microbiological criteria: Principles for their establishment and application in food quality and safety

  • Liliana Pérez-Lavalle Department of Food Science and Technology, International Campus of Excellence in the AgriFood Sector (CeiA3), University of Córdoba, Spain; Faculty of Basic and Biomedical Sciences, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Barranquilla, Colombia.
  • Elena Carrasco Department of Food Science and Technology, International Campus of Excellence in the AgriFood Sector (CeiA3), University of Córdoba, Spain.
  • Antonio Valero Diaz | bt2vadia@uco.es Department of Food Science and Technology, International Campus of Excellence in the AgriFood Sector (CeiA3), University of Córdoba, Spain.

Abstract

Legislation on food safety has led towards the standardization of food productions which, together with the existing quality certifications, aim to increase the level of protection of public health. It is recognized the need for the agri-food industry to have tools to harmonize their productions and to adequately manage their quality systems in order to improve consumers’ confidence. The implementation of microbiological criteria is focused on facilitating this harmonization by enabling the discrimination of defective lots and acting as control tools at industrial level. Therefore, knowledge of the principles, components and factors influencing the efficiency of microbiological criteria may be helpful to better understand the consequences of their application. In the present study the main principles, methodologies and applications of microbiological criteria in foods are addressed for their implementation as a part of the management quality systems of agrifood industries. In addition, potential limitations and impact of microbiological criteria on food safety are discussed. Finally, an assessment of the performance of microbiological criteria at EU level in berries is described for the compliance of the socalled risk-based metrics, namely Performance Objectives and Food Safety Objectives.

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Published
2020-04-06
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Supporting Agencies
The authors are grateful to the Spanish Government (Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, research project AGL2016-78086-R), to the ‘Asociación Universitaria Iberoamericana de Postgrado (AUIP)’ for their financial support and for L. Pérez Lavalle PhD grant; and to the Agrifood International Campus of Excellence (ceiA3).
Keywords:
Microbial contamination, riskbased metrics, sampling plans, risk management, microbiological limit, acceptance probability, berries
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How to Cite
Pérez-Lavalle, L., Carrasco, E., & Valero Diaz, A. (2020). Microbiological criteria: Principles for their establishment and application in food quality and safety. Italian Journal of Food Safety, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2020.8543