Food – microbiological guidelines

Standard 1.6.1 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) details the maximum acceptable levels of food-borne microorganisms that pose a risk to human health for specific foods including smallgoods, ice-cream and cheese; however, the Code does not make reference to all food poisoning bacteria or provide guidance for ready-to-eat (RTE) foods such as sandwiches, cakes, salads and meals at the point of sale.

The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Compendium of Microbiological Criteria for Food (external site) includes microbiological guideline criteria for RTE foods that are not covered in the Code. It includes information on which microbiological tests apply to RTE foods, criteria for assessment including limits for interpreting results, and suggested follow-up actions to be taken in response to findings. This supersedes the Guidelines for the microbiological examination of ready-to-eat foods.

More information

Environmental Health Directorate
Phone: 9222 2000

Last reviewed: 09-10-2020
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Public Health