Guidance documents are important aspects of the work that we conduct. Yes, they can be annoying, and more than once you are going to wonder, ?Why on earth are we doing it this way??, but nevertheless, guidance documents are necessary. They create a standard and outline procedures that ensure the quality of the data being collected.

Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with the Department of Agriculture?s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that they had created the first ever federal guidance document for Microbial Risk Assessments (MRAs) in food and water. The document provides a framework to perform MRAs and lays out a ?flexible? set of approaches, methods, and tools, while also providing transparency to the process.

From the EPA:

Formal risk assessments for food, water, and environmentally-relevant chemicals have been undertaken for decades. However, an overarching microbial risk assessment guideline has not been available until now. The guideline announced today meets this need by providing comprehensive, yet specific and descriptive information for developing assessments of microbial risk in food and water.

The document outlining the Microbial Risk Assessment guidelines is now available on the EPA website or by clicking here.

Written by: Chris Hollinger

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