IAFP European Symposium, 28-29 April 2021​

The ICMSF presented a symposium on COVID-19: “Assessing Potential Consumer Risk and Managing Value Chain Disruption” at the IAFP European Symposium (27-28 April 2021).

The IAFP is gratefully acknowledged for providing permission to post this recording.

Watch the video

This session is also discussed in an article in Food Safety News 


Registration open for the LAS-ICMSF Webinar – Update on Food Safety, 13-15 April 2021

We are pleased to announce the Latin American Sub-Commission (LAS) of the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF), will be holding the “LAS-ICMSF Webinar – Update on food safety”, on the 13th to 15th of April 2021, 9 am – 1 pm (GMT – 3).

The webinar will count on the participation of members of the ICMSF, in order to clarify the sampling plans, as well as the justification for establishing these microbiological criteria and the application in different products. This webinar is based on the ICMSF principles, presented in book 8 “Use of Data for Assessing Process Control and Product Acceptance”

In addition, a discussion on Covid-19 will be presented in the current context of food safety, an issue that has caused great concern and doubts among consumers and professionals working in the food production chain. The event will be in English, completely free and broadcast on the Zoom platform and on Youtube.

Make your registration to guarantee your place, your password and the receipt of the certificate.

For more information and to register, visit the webinar website

 Recording day 1: April 13

Recording day 2: April 14

Recording day 3: April 15  

(the last videos will be a bit edited in the near future)


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

ICMSF Members Lucia Anelich and Jeff Farber, with others, published a mini-review on SARS-CoV-2 & Risk to Food Safety. This peer-reviewed article is open access and freely available from Frontiers at this link.

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 (the ICMSF kindly acknowledges the efforts our Japanese colleagues have made to provide a translation in Japanese).

Roger cook took over the IAFP presidency from Kali Kniel for 2020-2021. Good luck to Roger!

Three IAFP awards for Jeff Farber. Congratulations, Jeff!

At IAFP 2020, Jeff Farber was honoured with three awards: a hattrick !


IAFP award for Bob Buchanan. congratulations Bob !

At IAFP 2020, Bob Buchanan received the IAFP Fellow Award!

Leadership change within ICMSF

Dr. Martin ColeAfter 20 years at the helm of the ICMSF, Martin Cole* handed over the role of chairperson to Marcel Zwietering*.

Dr. Marcel ZwieteringThe ICMSF team is greatly indebted to Martin for leading the organization through several generations of evolution in food safety expertise and guidance development. When Martin started as chairperson, ICMSF was in the process of developing the first edition of Book 7 (on risk-based food safety management and associated novel risk based metrics), whilst also revising Book 6 (on ecology of microorganisms in food, an essential resource in developing food safety management systems and HACCP/food safety-plans). Martin oversaw the ICMSF bringing its expertise on useful testing in general and for commodity specific purposes together in Book 8 and in a second edition of Book 7, whilst initiating the new work of the Commission on Book 9, in which the food systems transition that is inevitable in food security and sustainable food production regarding global megatrends such as Global Warming, Population Growth, etc., is assessed in terms of its impact on food safety management approaches. We thank Martin for his inspirational and energizing leadership and wish Marcel all the best in his new role!

Leon Gorris (ICMSF Secretary)

*see Current Members for short bios

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 (the ICMSF kindly acknowledges the efforts our Japanese colleagues have made to provide a translation in Japanese).

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.