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The USA Microbiology (Specification) Enigma

USA Microbiology Regulations Federal State Microbial Specifications FDA

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#1 emarto

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 08:17 AM

Dear all,

 

I need to record a list of all the microbial specifications that food products must have in the US (when manufactured and sold there). I’ve been checking around and found little beyond FDA CPGs. I haven’t found any single resource that specifies all exiting food classifications and applicable microbial regulations in the USA, which I’m sure must somehow exist. Furthermore CPGs are vague. CPG Sec 527.300, for instance, mentions pathogenic microorganisms, such as Yersinia enterocolitica as pathogenic contaminants, however, no clear threshold values are supplied. CPGs start with a startling cautionary note: “(…) guidances describe the Agency's current thinking on a topic and should be viewed only as recommendations, unless specific regulatory or statutory requirements are cited (…) ”.

 

I suppose my question, in a nut shell, is what the specific regulatory or statutory requirements are. Are these Federal or should I review state by state regulations? In this regard, is there a practical thumb rule that can be used, e.g. <<California regulations are very similar to those of most states except for NewYork.>>

 

Any thoughts on how to get started with this challenging task will be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you in advance for your assistance!

 



#2 Charles.C

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 09:08 AM

Dear all,

 

I need to record a list of all the microbial specifications that food products must have in the US (when manufactured and sold there). I’ve been checking around and found little beyond FDA CPGs. I haven’t found any single resource that specifies all exiting food classifications and applicable microbial regulations in the USA, which I’m sure must somehow exist. Furthermore CPGs are vague. CPG Sec 527.300, for instance, mentions pathogenic microorganisms, such as Yersinia enterocolitica as pathogenic contaminants, however, no clear threshold values are supplied. CPGs start with a startling cautionary note: “(…) guidances describe the Agency's current thinking on a topic and should be viewed only as recommendations, unless specific regulatory or statutory requirements are cited (…) ”.

 

I suppose my question, in a nut shell, is what the specific regulatory or statutory requirements are. Are these Federal or should I review state by state regulations? In this regard, is there a practical thumb rule that can be used, e.g. <<California regulations are very similar to those of most states except for NewYork.>>

 

Any thoughts on how to get started with this challenging task will be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you in advance for your assistance!

 

Hi emarto,

 

I'm afraid you are seeking a non-existent (afaik) Encyclopedia.

 

The first simplification you may be compelled to make is to separate NRTE and RTE items. Not surprisingly, data is more readily categorised for the latter.

 

Maybe have a browse through these 2 recent compilation links which contain a mixture of (HACCP-oriented) hazards and Product microbial specifications. Some are geographically titled also, including at least one for USA  -

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...ds/#entry127333

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...al/#entry127998

 

PS - there are also some voluminous reference books which although not focussed specifically on "micro. specifications" contain many. Notably volumes in the Microorganisms in Foods series, eg Volume 6 for starters. :smile:

 

Selected lists of US Product (partial) micro. specs  also appear in some standard Food Microbiology Texts (eg Jay) but i think these are only fragments of the overall literature.

 

PPS - you may find the comments in this short, somewhat similar thread, of some interest - 

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...-united-states/


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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