Establishment of microbiological safety criteria for foods in international trade. International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods.World Health Stat Q. 1997; 50(1-2):119-23.WH
Microbiological safety is achieved by applying good hygienic practices throughout the food chain, "from farm to fork". Governmental food control is traditionally based on inspection of the facilities where foods are handled, and on testing food samples. Testing is usually applied to imported foods, when no information concerning the safety of a consignment is available. The microbiological safety is judged by means of microbiological criteria. Such criteria should, in the context of the WTO/SPS measures, be scientifically justified, and established according to the principles described by the Codex Alimentarius. However, microbiological testing is not a very reliable tool for consumer protection; the emphasis is currently shifting to the application of food safety management tools such as the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system (HACCP).