Microbiological criteria are used to assess the acceptability of food. When a particular food is tested for a particular microorganism (toxin or metabolite (any substance produced during metabolism)) the results can indicate if:
- the food is safe to eat or not,
- the food is of acceptability quality, or
- the hygiene standards in the food establishment are satisfactory or unsatisfactory.
Legal microbiological criteria have been set for some, but not all, combinations of food and microorganism (toxin or metabolite). If a relevant legal microbiological criterion does not exist, guideline microbiological criteria can be used to assess the acceptability of food.
- Commission Regulation (EU) No. 2073/2005
- Guideline Microbiological Criteria
- Other legal microbiological criteria
See our online courses ‘Regulation 2073/2005 Module 1: Identifying Relevant Microbiological Criteria’ and ‘Regulation 2073/2005 Module 2: Sampling and Testing’.
These modules are based on Questions 1 and 2 of the FSAI’s Guidance Note 27 checklist for assessing compliance with Regulation 2073/2005.
These modules (and more) are available in our eLearning section.