Processing environment monitoring in low moisture food production facilities: Are we looking for the right microorganisms?

François Bourdichon*, Roy Betts, Christophe Dufour, Séamus Fanning, Jeffrey Farber, Peter McClure, Despoina Angeliki Stavropoulou, Ellen Wemmenhove, Marcel H. Zwietering, Anett Winkler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Processing environment monitoring is gaining increasing importance in the context of food safety management plans/HACCP programs, since past outbreaks have shown the relevance of the environment as contamination pathway, therefore requiring to ensure the safety of products. However, there are still many open questions and a lack of clarity on how to set up a meaningful program, which would provide early warnings of potential product contamination. Therefore, the current paper aims to summarize and evaluate existing scientific information on outbreaks, relevant pathogens in low moisture foods, and knowledge on indicators, including their contribution to a “clean” environment capable of limiting the spread of pathogens in dry production environments. This paper also outlines the essential elements of a processing environment monitoring program thereby supporting the design and implementation of better programs focusing on the relevant microorganisms. This guidance document is intended to help industry and regulators focus and set up targeted processing environment monitoring programs depending on their purpose, and therefore provide the essential elements needed to improve food safety

Original languageEnglish
Article number109351
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2021


  • B. cereus
  • Cronobacter spp.
  • Dry foods
  • Enterobacteriaceae
  • Food safety
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Processing environment monitoring
  • Recontamination
  • Salmonella spp.


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