In this concept paper, we have developed three case scenarios to illustrate how one can derive a Microbiological Criterion (MC) from a Performance Objective (PO) or from a Food Safety Objective (FSO). In the first scenario, we show how one can derive an MC from a PO that is set as a numerical limit to the concentration of a pathogen. In the second scenario, it is shown how one can derive an MC from a PO that is set as the limit to the prevalence or proportion of a microorganism. In the final scenario, we show how to derive an MC from an FSO for a product supporting growth of the target pathogen between the PO and FSO. These case scenarios present guidance on how to derive an MC from risk-based metrics and very explicitly detail all the steps to be taken and assumptions/decisions that need to be made. In all three cases, MCs could successfully be established, but to do so required specific data, assumptions and decisions, as appropriate.
Zwietering, M. H., Gorris, L. G. M., & Farber, J. M. (2015). Operationalising a performance objective with a microbiological criterion using a risk-based approach. Food Control, 58, 33-42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2014.07.042