WASHINGTON – The National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) has been re-chartered to add a consumer group representative, the Food Safety and Inspection Service announced.

NACMCF formulates positions on the development of microbiological criteria, the review and evaluation of epidemiological and risk assessment data and methodologies for assessing microbiological hazards in foods.

Recommendations are provided by the committee to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services on microbiological criteria by which the safety and wholesomeness of food can be assessed. That work includes criteria for microorganisms that indicate whether foods have been adequately and appropriately processed.

“NACMCF provides valuable information and recommendations to FSIS that further promote our food safety and foodborne illness prevention actions,” said Al Almanza, FSIS Administrator.

NACMCF members are appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture in consult with the Secretary of HHS, with the advice on membership from the Departments of Commerce and Defense. At present there are 18 members on the Committee and another 12 members will be appointed in 2011. The balance of the committee membership consists of government and non-government scientists acting under special appointment.