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Published: 9 February 2017

FT-035 Food Microbiology, Standards Australia Committee

Peter Traynor

FT-035 ASM representative
Australian Society for Microbiology, Inc.

FT-035 Food Microbiology Australian Standards Committee meets twice a year to review those Australian Standards (AS) that are due for review, or when a new Standard has been proposed and requires work. As reported for FT020 Water Microbiology Australian Standards Committee1, the committee membership includes volunteer representatives from a diverse range of sources and institutions. Whilst the ASM has one seat at the FT-035 table, many of those representing other institutions are also ASM members. Those with expertise in food microbiology related to dairy, poultry, livestock, public health, culture media, quality assurance are amongst those who currently work on these Standards. There is a high degree of integration of current Australian Standards into the International Standards Organisation (ISO) published Standards, as part of the global harmonisation of published Standards. Whilst the local committee is unable to change the contents of a given ISO Standard, there is involvement through Standards Australia in the writing of those ISO Standards, by way of membership of the Working Groups that are responsible for individual ISO Standards related to food microbiology, and in the Technical Committees responsible for the overall group of ISO Standards for food microbiology2.

Where there are needs for local variations to the ISO Standard to meet Australian requirements, these can be found as an additional appendix to the ISO Standard. The document is then published locally with an Australian Standard number (usually AS5013 series number), cover pages, and the Australian appendices. It’s therefore important that, when working locally to an ISO Standard, that the Australian version is obtained to ensure compliance to the necessary Australian variations where applicable.

For a full list of current Standards please use AS5013 as a search option at http://infostore.saiglobal.com/store/Portal.aspx?publisher=AS.

As per the FT020 report1, when a draft Standard is released for public comment, it is critical that users of the Standard avail themselves to be involved in the review process. If you, or your laboratory, are applying AS5013 series Australian Standards in your establishment, then it is important that your laboratory is (a) aware that changes are being proposed, and (b) willing to ensure that the changes being proposed are sensible and understood. Therefore, it is critical that you, or your laboratory manager, are on the Standards Australia mailing list for alerts for public comments on Standards under review. Please see https://sapc.standards.org.au/sapc/public/listOpenCommentingPublication.action for more information on how to make comments on draft Australian Standards.

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