Jump to content

  • Quick Navigation
- - - - -

Maximum level for E.coli in ready to eat fruit and vegetables

  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic


    IFSQN...it's My Life

  • IFSQN Admin
  • 12,554 posts
  • 1323 thanks

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Manchester
  • Interests:Married to Michelle, Father of three boys (Oliver, Jacob and Louis). I enjoy cycling, walking and travelling, watching sport, especially football and Manchester United. Oh and I love food and beer and wine.

Posted 11 August 2009 - 07:40 AM

How is the maximum level for E.coli in ready to eat fruit and vegetables 1000/g?

The above questions was split from another topic on Listeria for Tony C

Get FREE bitesize education with IFSQN webinar recordings.
Download this handy excel for desktop access to over 180 Food Safety Friday's webinar recordings.

Check out IFSQN’s extensive library of FREE food safety videos


    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 3,397 posts
  • 1030 thanks

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Koh Samui
  • Interests:My main interests are sports particularly football, pool, scuba diving, skiing and ten pin bowling.

Posted 11 August 2009 - 12:40 PM

COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 2073/2005 of 15 November 2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs :thumbdown:

This question relates to the above leislation and what I would like to know is: How the maximum level for E.coli in ready to eat fruit and vegetables can be considered acceptable at 1000/g?




    Grade - MIFSQN

  • IFSQN Member
  • 157 posts
  • 11 thanks

  • Guatemala

Posted 12 August 2009 - 04:19 PM

Would you like your E. coli apple or strawberry flavored? ;)
We make flour, which as far as I know, is never eaten raw, and our legislation says limit for E. coli is 0.
This sounds pretty nasty. So are they expecting producers to not wash the fruit, not wash their hands after using the toilet or what?


    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 15 posts
  • 0 thanks

  • Israel

Posted 13 August 2009 - 02:01 PM

This is a really troubling directive. Too many E-coli.

Israeli standard (IS 2202 part 2) has m<10 and M=50 and coliforms of m=100 and M=1000.

I'd ask my EU parlament member what is this directive all about. Otherwise, I wouln't buy any european salad.


    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 19,096 posts
  • 5313 thanks

  • Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF

Posted 14 August 2009 - 04:45 AM

Dear All,

A few comments.

Numerical microbiological measurements typically show large variations in agreement, (both intra and inter) due to a variety of reaons, sampling/procedure/natural produce/experience etc. And national specifications are also (IMEX) amazingly variable for many items, probably even within the EU also. Some of them simply do not make bacteriological sense.

Note that the EU / E.coli data are intended as a process hygiene indicator. (And I guess no bactericidal step in the fruit chain). A consistent level of >100/g would (rightly IMO) immediately indicate something wrong also (after a check on the procedure). Anybody got some typical process data for peeled fruit available (which still considered “enjoyable” to eat )?

How about meat preparations with E.coli max 5000/g (even though it will be cooked later) ?. Reasonable ??

Interestingly, some of the E.coli limits in some of the other cooked foods might be considered too strict (eg crustacea) (see next paragraph).

The general UK guidelines (E.coli et al) at point of sale are linked below, only 10x less than EU for fruit. How do you people feel about that ? Change in tourism plans for some maybe. :biggrin:


A specification of “zero” is usually regarded as meaningless unless interpreted / defined in the sub-text.

One factor is as spelled out in UK document, any limits must be legally (and thereby hopefully scientifically) defendable (note the right hand column in table 1). Many proposed national and international microbiological specifications have come to grief over that requirement. Another one is the Codex suggested requirement of “realism”, eg chicken meat is allowed to be sold in many (most?) supermarkets with Salmonella. An acceptance of farming reality (incompetence?) perhaps.

Regardless of the above caveats, I would also like to see the risk assessment which preceded the EU selection of limits / guidelines. I suspect that the US requirements for E.coli in fruit/vegetables will be tougher in view of their bad experiences with these items, ie an increased "severity" contribution.

Rgds / Charles.C

Kind Regards,



0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users