Views of ICMSF on general hygiene, food safety and Covid-19 illness

The members of the International Commission for Microbiological Specifications of Foods (ICMSF) have compiled a joint view on the relationship between COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 and food safety that can be found here

Long-time ICMSF-member and recent-past-member of ICMSF, Jeff Farber (currently Professor and Food Science Department of the University of Guelph, Canada), produced this video in an effort to dispel some of the myths about coronavirus and food safety that are circulating widely: link here

ICMSF-member Lucia Anelich, of Anelich Consulting Food Safety Solutions in South Africa, is the Immediate Past President of and heavily involved with the South African Association for Food Science and Technology (SAAFoST).  She compiled a very well attended webinar for SAAFoST called “Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2): Is it a food safety risk?”: link here

ICMSF-member and current secretary, Leon Gorris, Food Safety Expert from the Netherlands, discussed the impact of COVID-19 on food safety (perceptions) and COVID-19 mitigation measures that food businesses best build onto their GHP and HACCP based food safety management for the protection of their employees, their customers and society at large. Importantly, Codex Alimentarius has been driving implementation of GHP and HACCP for all food businesses around the world and has produced important guidelines for general food hygiene as well as sector specific hygiene measures. link here

2019 Training course on Microbiological Sampling and Testing

On 20 and 21 November 2019, Marcel Zwietering and Leon Gorris conducted a two days specialist training in Microbiological Sampling and Testing for Irish food safety experts from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).

The training course was entitled “Training course on Microbiological Sampling and Testing: their Application in Food Safety Assurance” and was held at DAFM’s Laboratory Complex at Backweston, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, Ireland.

Aims of the course were:

  • to share knowledge and practical skills in microbiological sampling and testing with the DAFM and FSAI professionals that help them to assess microbiological monitoring programs of the Food Business Operators (FBOs) that they work with every day in their jobs.
  • to provide the bigger picture of the roles of FBOs and government in food safety assurance, drilling down to the purpose and best practices in microbiological monitoring and the underlying statistics.
  • to convey to participants the principles and practices of designing useful microbiological testing in the context of food safety assurance and (inter)national standards that include microbiological criteria for food lot acceptance.
  • To use the ICMSF statistical sampling plan tool for designing and assessing the performance of microbiological sampling plans. This was especially the aim of the hands-on training that was done with a smaller group of professionals on day two of the course.

Thirty-five experts in total participated in the first day of the course and eleven in the second day. Course evaluation comments received indicated that, the majority of the participants considered it a very valuable learning experience.

2019 SRA annual meeting 8-12 December, Arlington

Retired ICMSF member Bob Buchanan and ICMSF member Marcel Zwietering presented at the Society for Risk Analysis annual meeting (8-12 December) in the symposium:

“The Role of Predictive Microbiology and its Impact on Food Safety Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment and Beyond: Leveraging Scientific Advances”

Bob presented “Predictive Microbiology and Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessments (QMRA), what has been accomplished during the last thirty years”:

Marcel presented “How Predictive Microbiology and Risk Assessments can be used more effectively”:

After the speakers’ presentations there was a panel discussion with all the speakers of the symposium:

After the symposium the speakers and the organisers of the symposium made a group photo:

From left to right: Yuhuan Chen, Thomas Oscar, Richard Whiting, Marcel Zwietering, Bob Buchanan, Jane Van Doren, and Elizabeth (Noelia) Williams

see also

52nd ICMSF Meeting started in Sydney (october 1)

The 52nd icmsf annual meeting (2019) started in sydney

After a two day workshop on October 1 and 2, the ICMSF started their 52nd meeting in Sydney Australia

The committee and consultants of the 52nd meeting October 3 2019 in front of the CSIRO building

Marcel Zwietering awarded the international leadership award at iafp2019
24 July 2019


At ICMSF we know that you cannot stand on one leg. All ICMSF members congratulate Marcel Zwietering for being (also) awarded the International Leadership Award. Way to go Marcel!!

Michelle Danyluk now Executive Board member

international Association for Food Protection

24 July 2019

Michelle Danyluk AT THE HEADTABLE AT iafp2019

ICMSF is so proud to see Michelle at the headtable as a new member to the Executive Board. We wish you a great journey going through all the EB functions in the coming years. Your ICMSF colleagues and partners.

Marcel Zwietering awarded the elmer marth educator award at iafp2019

24 july 2019

Marcel zwietering awarded at IAFP2019

congratulates Marcel Zwietering for being awarded the Elmer Marth Educator Award. Well deserved Marcel!!

campylobacter session at iafp2019

23 july 2019

icmsf organised session at iafp2019

Session tile: Campylobacter, Health Impact, Performance Objectives and Effectiveness of Sampling Plans.
Organizers: Jeffrey Farber, Leon Gorris, Marcel Zwietering.
Convenor: Leon Gorris
Sponsored by:  the IAFP Foundation,
International Food Protection Issues, Meat and Poultry Safety and Quality, Microbial Modelling and Risk Analysis PDG.


1) Health Impact of Campylobacter: The Main Zoonotic Pathogen in Many Countries
JEFFREY FARBER, University of Guelph, CRIFS, Guelph, ON, Canada
2) Establishing Performance Objectives throughout the Chicken Production Chain to Account for Control Measures
LEON GORRIS, Food Safety Expert, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
3) Effectiveness of a (More and More Stringent) Sampling Plan for Campylobacter
MARCEL ZWIETERING, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands

International Association for Food Protection Elects Michelle Danyluk to Executive Board

24 April 2019

Michelle Danyluk Elected to Executive Board of IAFP: IAFP link

Microorganisms in Foods 7 – 2nd Edition

The updated Microorganisms in Foods 7: Microbiological Testing in Food Safety Management 2nd Edition is now available.


Short videos on microbiological testing, sampling plans and history of ICMSF.