IAFP 2023 pre-conference workshop on microbiological sampling and testing

15 July 2023

The ICMSF presented a pre-conference workshop entitled “Microbiological Sampling and Testing: ICMSF Workshop for Food Safety Authorities and Food Business Operators” on 15 July 2023 at the IAFP 2023 Annual Meeting held in Toronto, Canada from 16 to 19 July 2023.

The organisers and instructors were Leon Gorris and Marcel Zwietering.


The workshop introduces the principles and practices of microbiological sampling and testing for food safety and quality assessment in the context of the verification of process control and food lot acceptance.

The set-up of the workshop is designed to provide the bigger picture of the roles of competent authorities and food business operators in food safety assurance, drilling down to the purpose and best practices concerning sampling and testing in microbiological monitoring and verification.

Participants will learn about useful microbiological testing and microbiological criteria developed in the context of different types of food commodities as well as of international and national food safety standards.

The statistics underlying useful sampling and testing will be shared and practiced with participants. Participants are requested to bring their own laptops to the workshop (working in groups of two, one laptop could suffice per two participants, Excel software is needed).

Participants will be introduced to and will be able to use the ICMSF statistical sampling plan tool for designing and assessing the performance of microbiological sampling plans.

The information provided in the workshop and the ‘hands-on’ learning of the participants is expected to help participants from food safety authorities to establish and interpret regulatory standards involving metrics for microbiological food safety compliance and to assess microbiological monitoring programs of food business operators.

Food business operators will gain key insights concerning the role of microbiological criteria in food standards and in microbiological monitoring programs of food business operators, which are critical tools for controlling food safety and quality in day-to-day food business operations.

Background information

Each year, the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) hosts an Annual Meeting, providing attendees with information on current and emerging food safety issues, the latest science, innovative solutions to new and recurring problems, and the opportunity to network with thousands of food safety professionals from around the globe. Held in various locations throughout North America, this meeting has grown over the years to become the leading food safety conference worldwide. IAFP 2023 was held in Toronto, Canada.

For more information about the event, visit the meeting website.

In this section