Skip to main content
Food Standards Australia New Zealand Logo

Microbiological limits

Standard 1.6.1 - Microbiological Limits for Food became part of the Food Standards Code in December 2000. Developments since that time mean there is a need to review the standard’s current requirements.

These include more recent scientific evidence about specific food safety concerns, development of preventative food safety standards; food safety programs for high risk businesses and primary production and processing standards.

Work has also progressed internationally on using different risk management tools in a food safety control system. Microbiological criteria have also been established for Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods and Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella spp in powdered infant formula.

FSANZ has prepared a background paper outlining issues to be covered in the review and the principles and guidelines that will underpin this work.

View the background paper (word 127 kb)

What is being considered in the review?

Criteria for Listeria monocytogenes

See our web page on criteria for Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods.

Microbiological limits for indicator/index organisms

  • Suitability for regulatory purposes.
  • Use as process hygiene criteria (application at various points in production).

Reference to prescribed methods of analysis

  • Current reference to Australian/New Zealand Standard Methods for Food Microbiology 1766.

Limits for infant formula

  • Alignment with recently finalised international (Codex) standards (e.g. Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella in infant formula).

Relevance of some microbiological limits in the context of recently finalised food safety standards.

How will the review work?

The first priority for the review has been the development of microbiological criteria for L. monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods with this work progressing through Proposal P1017. Other microbiological limits will then be reviewed, taking into account the through chain requirements that have been developed in Chapters 3 and 4 of the Code and other guideline criteria such as in the Guide to Standard 1.6.1. Criteria for raw milk products are being developed through Proposal P1022.

Would you like to be kept informed of progress?

Transparency and public consultation are an important part of the standards development process. If you wish to be placed on a mailing list for future advice on changes to Standard 1.6.1, please complete the details on this form (word 101 kb) and send to the Standards Management Officer at , or phone +61 2 6271 2280.

More information

















Return to top