Comparison of Food Microbiology Testing Practices Between the US and Europe

Strategic Consulting Poster Compares Food Microbiology Testing Practices

Earlier this month I presented a poster at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) general meeting, held in San Francisco, CA, June 16-19.

The poster highlighted data from SCI’s newest publication, “Food Micro, Seventh Edition: Comparison of the Food Microbiology Testing Markets in the US and EU”.

The abstract for the poster was as follows:

Food safety is of growing visibility and concern to the public, food companies and regulators. This heightened awareness is driven by factors that include increasing food recalls, evolving pathogens, more educated consumers and heightened press coverage, and is exacerbated by the ever-expanding global nature of the food supply. To examine if differences exist, Strategic Consulting, Inc. (SCI) interviewed food plants in both the US and Europe (EU).

The poster compared the following specific areas:

    • Test volume
    • Test volume of routine vs. pathogen organisms
    • Routine organisms tested
    • Pathogen organisms tested
    • Methods used for routine organism analysis
    • Methods used for pathogen organism analysis

The results from this investigation point to both similarities and differences between the US and the EU in the food microbiology testing practices utilized to ensure the production of safe and wholesome food.

The summary findings were:

Comparison of Total Food Microbiology Testing in the US and EU

Comparison of Total Food Microbiology Testing in the US and EU

Providing a high level of food safety is clearly a priority in both the US and the EU. Food microbiology testing levels are high and growing in each geography. In addition, testing patterns are similar when comparing both the split between testing for routine and pathogenic organisms, and the breakdown of specific organisms tested.

However, there is a marked difference in the methods used for analysis when comparing the US and the EU. In the US, newer non-traditional and rapid methods predominate while in the EU the majority of food microbiology tests still utilize traditional methods.

If you would like a copy of the poster, please email me at, and put ASM Poster either in the subject line or in the body of the email.

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