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Enterobacteriaceae limits for ice cream (containing milk ingredients) and frozen dairy desserts sampled when placed on the market

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

It is important that shops selling ice-cream are clean to ensure that the ice-cream they are selling is safe to eat.

This report by the FSAI Scientific Committee assesses whether an Enterobacteriaceae limit is appropriate for these products.

Enterobacteriaceae are a group of bacteria that are used to assess the general hygiene status of a food product. This group includes species that originate from the intestinal tract of animals and humans, as well as from plants and the environment. Enterobacteriaceae should be readily removed from equipment and surfaces by appropriate cleaning procedures and are generally inactivated by heating treatments (pasteurisation, etc.) used in food production.

Enterobacteriaceae are used as indicators of poor hygiene, inadequate processing or post-process contamination of foods.

In practice, ice cream may be served as whipped ice cream from an ice cream machine at retail level or served as a scoop ice cream (containing milk ingredients) or a frozen dairy dessert at retail level. These products are dependent on adequate temperature control and good hygiene to prevent cross-contamination and ensure food safety. As such, these ice cream products may be sampled and tested for Enterobacteriaceae at the retail stage as a useful way to assess hygiene and temperature control measures at retail level.


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