Microbial Challenge Testing for Foods
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This course is available as a client site course. Please click here for more information.
Who Should Attend
This course is designed for individuals in the food industry,
• Food processors
• Food service operators and food retailers
• Federal, State and local food safety regulators
• Public health officials
• Food testing laboratories
In addition, process authorities who conduct or evaluate
pathogen inhibition and pathogen inactivation studies for foods
to evaluate their safety or shelf life would benefit.
The food industry routinely uses challenge testing to determine
whether a specific food requires time-temperature control for
safety, or is suitably formulated. When laboratory testing is
used to support a change in how the product is handled in a
food establishment (e.g., refrigerated to unrefrigerated holding,
extending shelf life, increasing ambient temperature storage or
eliminating the need for date marking), the data are submitted
to a state or local regulatory agency or directly to the FDA
in the form of a variance application for approval. Food
establishments or manufacturers submitting laboratory data
to support their proposals must ensure the study is appropriate
for the food and pathogen of concern and incorporate the
necessary elements into the study to yield a valid design and
Because of the many questions raised by regulatory and
industry professionals about the appropriate use of challenge
studies, the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological
Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) was asked to provide guidance
on the topic of challenge studies and their use.
This course is designed to familiarize participants with the
recent NACMCF document on this topic entitled “Parameters
for Determining Inoculated Pack/Challenge Study Protocols”.