Minutes of the ACMSF meeting held on 9 February 2022

Last updated: 19 June 2023





Chair:    Prof Bill Keevil


Dr Gary Barker

Dr Gauri Godbole

Dr Rohini Manuel

Prof Peter McClure

Mr Alec Kyriakides

Prof Dan Tucker

Dr Gwen Lowe

Mrs Ann Williams

Miss Heather Lawson

Mrs Emma Hill

Dr Jane Gibbens

Prof Francis Butler

Dr Nicol Janecko

Prof Linda Scobie               

Dr Edward Fox

Mr Martin Briggs

Dr Wayne Anderson


Departmental representative:

Dr Stephen Wyllie (Defra)

Dr Paul Cook (FSA, Risk Assessment Unit)


FSA Science Council:

Prof Jonathan Wastling


Dr Anthony Wilson

Dr Erica Kintz                      

Mr Adekunle Adeoye

Ms Azuka Aghadiuno



Prof Rick Mumford

Dr Shona O’Rourke

Miss Alice Rayner

Miss Helen Heard

Dr Erin Lewis

Dr Iulia Gherman

Dr Frieda Jørgensen

Dr Caroline Willis


Members of the public: see Annex 1.


1. Chair’s introduction

1.1 The Chair welcomed members of the committee and members of the public to the 100th meeting of the ACMSF. He also welcomed Prof Rick Mumford (Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of Science, Evidence and Research Division, FSA) and Dr Shona O’Rourke (PATH-SAFE Research Programme Manager) who gave  a presentation under agenda item 6 (PATH-SAFE: Tracking Foodborne Pathogens and Antimicrobial Resistance Microbes), Alice Rayner and Helen Heard (FSA, Social Science Team) who presented agenda item 7 (FSA Kitchen Life Project), Dr Erin Lewis and Dr Iulia Gherman (FSA, Micro Risk Assessment team) along with Dr Caroline Willis and Dr Frieda Jorgensen (UKHSA, Food Water and Environmental Microbiology) who gave presentations under agenda item 14 (FSA surveys on frozen breaded/battered chicken products) and the various teams from the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland that observed the meeting.


1.2 Before the meeting started the Chair provided an update on a member retiring from the committee and a change in the secretariat:

  • Dr Gwen Lowe who has been a member since January 2017 is retiring from the committee. This will be her last plenary meeting. He thanked Dr Lowe for her contribution to the work of ACMSF. She has served on the newly emerging pathogens and incidents subgroups.


  • Dr Erica Kintz has joined the secretariat as a Senior Scientific Adviser.


2. Apologies for absence

2.1   None.


3. Declaration of interests

3.1   The Chair asked members if they wished to declare any potential conflicts of interest associated with the agenda items to be discussed.


3.2       No declaration was made.


4. Minutes of the 99th meeting

4.1   Subject to tiny typographical corrections, members approved the minutes of the 99th meeting as an accurate record and agreed that they should be posted on the ACMSF website.



5. Matters arising (ACM/1377)

5.1 ACM/1377 provided a summary of actions on matters arising from previous meetings. Dr Anthony Wilson reported that:

  • Minutes of the 98th meeting had been posted on the website.
  • Literature review on botulism in cattle, sheep and goats: 2006 to 2021: Members highlighted a number of areas in the literature review (ACM/1367) that needed correction. Actioned. Revised literature review was circulated to members (paper ACM/1386 refers).
  • Botulism in cattle, sheep and goats - update on recommendations from the ACMSF Botulism in Cattle, Sheep and Goats reports. Via paper ACM/1387, APHA responded to the points the committee made on the APHA update on the recommendations from the botulism in cattle, sheep and goats report. The committee at the February 2022 meeting was dissatisfied with the reply provided for recommendations 8.7 (Samples collected during clinical investigations should be archived to assist with the development of further assay systems), explaining that the Committee is asking APHA to either provide or enable storage, rather than to develop assays as the response implies, and 8.15 (the committee would like more information on the evidence that is being collected on toxin types other than C & D causing botulism in UK ruminants). Dr Steve Wyllie agreed to liaise with APHA in addressing the committee’s concern on the response provided in ACM/1387. ACTION
  • Following discussions on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on human infections, UKHSA (Dr Larkin) mentioned a study that contrasted the drop in norovirus with the Campylobacter levels in recent months stating that the committee would find the study findings interesting. Copy of paper (ACM/1389 Differential impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on laboratory reporting of norovirus and Campylobacter in England: A modelling approach) was sent to members.
  • The reasoning behind the FSA’s Survey of infectious intestinal disease in the UK carried out by Ipsos MORI was questioned as it was felt it was not a comprehensive approach in collecting data compared to the previous IID studies and the forthcoming IID3. Study was commissioned to collect data to estimate the impact of the pandemic on IID and foodborne disease. Outcome of these studies will be presented to the committee for discussion at a future meeting.
  • Salmonella Typhimurium in humans (24% of human isolates were S. Typhimurium) and incident rate in pigs (first quarter of 2021 had 21 incidents compared to 18 incidents in 2020 and below 10 in previous years) reveals a picture of continuous increasing incidents of S. Typhimurium. Salmonella in Livestock report in 2020 also suggests that there has been a greater than 10% increase in overall Salmonella in incidents in pigs over that period of time. Dr Wyllie to provide advice on this matter. ACTION
  • Food and You 2 – Wave 1: Consumer hygiene and food - the FSA will share the findings of a tracker survey they have been running throughout the pandemic that has been monitoring behaviours during the pandemic with the committee. Actioned.


6. PATH-SAFE: Tracking Foodborne Pathogens and Antimicrobial Resistance Microbes (ACM/1378)

6.1 The Chair invited Prof Rick Mumford to update the committee on the cross-government Pathogen Surveillance in Agriculture, Food and the Environment (PATH-SAFE) project commissioned to track foodborne pathogens and antimicrobial resistant microbes in all four nations of the UK. Prof Mumford reported that the PATH-SAFE programme is a £19.2m Shared Outcomes Fund research programme which aims to develop a national surveillance network, using the latest DNA-sequencing technology and environmental sampling to improve the detection, and tracking of foodborne human pathogens and AMR through the whole agri-food system from farm-to-fork.   The heart of this ‘virtual’ network will be a new data platform that will permit the analysis, storage and sharing of pathogen sequence and source data, collected from multiple locations across the UK by diverse government and public organisations (including the FSA, Food Standards Scotland, Department of Health and Social Care, Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the devolved administrations).


6.2 Prof Mumford’s presentation covered the programme aims and objectives, key benefits, programme structure, work streams, integration with existing initiatives, communications and engagement and progress to date.


6.3 The following comments were made by members on the presentation:

  • Programme as presented will be of great national and international interest.
  • In relation to workstream one that states that the focus will be on genomic data, there was the suggestion of not losing sight of phenotypic data and to give equal weight to data that may be obtained from this route. The question of the possibility of people being able to submit isolates was also discussed.
  • Workstream two (develop a pilot infrastructure for regular, multi-location sampling). An objective of this workstream that “aims to map pathogen populations over time and help refine predictive models that can allow for proactive control” was discussed as members were unfamiliar with the models this workstream highlighted that would be refined.
  • Concern was raised on some of the key benefits of the programme particularly on the benefit relating to “reduction in commercial losses”. This pilot project “aims to introduce more rapid testing which can reduce costs for UK importers, as consignments get released faster”. Drawing attention to situations where there may be low level of pathogens in products where sampling might have been limited, the need to exercise caution in over promising on the reliability or the efficiency of rapid testing in relation to the acceptability of products was flagged.
  • Overarching aim of programme is to have a surveillance system monitoring trends over time. This will be done through pilots. A member raised if there was a plan to prioritise pathogens and if there were plans to carry out large epidemiology studies to capture an accurate surveillance of trends over time? It was noted that the programme would be restricted to pilots focussing on a specific pathogen in a specific agric food system that might also be in a particular geographic location. For example, it was explained that in Scotland the focus will be work around E. coli as this is the priority organism.
  • There was confirmation that metagenomic approaches could be employed in testing, however there are still methodological issues relating to low abundance. Metagenomic approaches are an excellent step forward in terms of detection, however there remain limitations of reliable detection for very low abundance pathogens with low infectious dose.
  • As different laboratories will be using different technologies/sequencing platforms, there was discussion on how the issue of consistency and data standardisation will be addressed. It was underlined that standardisation is important when looking at phenotypic data, sequence data and raw data.
  • Will there be access for industry stakeholders as they start to move towards the use of this type of genomics approach that would be generating useful data? Will there be any linkage or access for the food industry to government’s ongoing activities in this area? It was noted that the FSA is collaborating with the British Retail Consortium and relevant international bodies on this programme building on existing relationships. It was explained that government see different sets of end users in relation to the outputs from this programme and have been liaising with technical representatives from major retailers via the bilateral arrangement the FSA has with the BRC. It was added that all the potential end users/stakeholders are interested in understanding the power of whole genome sequencing in dealing with food incidents/outbreaks.
  • As the programme is for 3-years, there was discussion on its long-term sustainability if it delivers on its aims and objectives. Members noted that if the programme is successful, it may be recognised as a national asset and all the departments involved in the programme would be in a good position to present a business case for supporting a national surveillance system for the monitoring and tracking of foodborne disease and antimicrobial resistant in the agri-food system in the long term.
  • In conclusion, the Chair thanked Prof Mumford and Dr O’Rourke for the presentation. He remarked that ACMSF recognises the importance of this initiative and look forward to receiving progress reports as the programme develops.


7. FSA’s Kitchen Life 2 Project (ACM/1379)

7.1 The Chair invited Helen Heard and Alice Rayner to update the committee on the FSA’s study on food safety behaviour in kitchens. Study was:

  • Commissioned to understand real-life behaviour in the kitchen (how long do people really wash their hands for, what do people do with leftovers, how do business kitchens manage cross-contamination and why do people do/not do these things)
  • Provide accurate data to risk assessment teams (who estimate risks to human health, find ways to control these risks, and communicate risks and controls to the people who need to know)
  • Uncover areas for potential behavioural interventions
  • Inform comms campaigns and guidance for businesses.


7.2 The areas the presentation covered include: overall research process (stage 1, stage 2 and stage 3), phase 1: dashboard, phase 2: COM-B analysis, emerging findings, methodology learning pilot, key findings from wave 1 and progress so far and next steps.


7.3 Helen Heard concluded the presentation by highlighting that they were still collecting data and that field work was ongoing. They hope to publish initial findings in autumn 2022 which will be supplemented with secondary analysis.


7.4 Before the members were invited to comment on the study the chair asked the ACMSF member who is on the advisory group supporting this study providing microbiological food safety expertise to comment on presentation. He indicated that the talk was comprehensive and informative. He noted that it would have been valuable for the study to have included microbiological sampling as data from this would be relevant in relation to food safety in the home.


7.5 The following comments were made by members:

  • From microbial risk assessment perspective, one of the traditional data gaps has always been consumer behaviour in the kitchen particularly related to cooking. Is there any intention to do any kind of quantitative work relating to cooking activities (such as length of cooking)? It would be valuable quantitative data if this data was collected and analysed. Members noted that although the study had the capacity to timestamp data, this suggestion was not in the scope of the study.
  • As it has been pointed out that microbial assessment was not included in the study, a member recommended incorporating this in the future phases of the study as she felt resulting data from microbiological sampling will richly enhance the findings of this study.


  • A member questioned the sample size for the study underlining that it was  small emphasising that it may be too small to draw conclusions from, depending on how participants were selected. She asked if the final survey would be representative of the population and underlined the need to publish the characteristics of the participant population so that readers could understand how widely applicable the results could be. It was confirmed that the final survey won’t be representative of the population and an explanation was provided on how the analysed findings from the study would be used. There was discussion of how the findings from surveys with small sample size could be valuable and used to inform risk management advice.


  • As cost-of-living, particularly increases in the cost of fuel, will severely impact homes in the UK, a member asked if the study researchers may consider going back to collect data on whether households are altering the way they cook? Members noted that the researcher won’t be going back to do additional filming/data collection. Members were informed that the FSA was carrying out targeted surveys looking at issues such as food insecurity and other related issues seeking to capture a range of data to inform food safety advice for consumers.
  • The question of whether workers in commercial premises (catering sector) use air blowers to dry hands or towels was raised. It was noted that there were  debates on “if people don’t wash their hands properly, do the air blowers liberate the organisms from the individuals into the environment”. It was agreed that it would be valuable to separate data on the use of air blowers and paper towels by commercial premises and include this in the study’s final report.


  • In conclusion, the committee agreed that the study was a very useful behavioural survey and indicated that they look forward to receiving further updates on the study.


8. 100th Meeting of the ACMSF - Reflections (ACM/1380)

8.1 The Chair noted that the February 2022 plenary was the committee’s 100th meeting and paper ACM/1380 has been produced to provide members the opportunity to reflect on the committee’s work over the years. He acknowledged the contribution of Dr Paul Cook and Prof David McDowell to the paper as they provided their reflections and highlighted pointers for the future.


8.2 Adekunle Adeoye was invited to introduce paper ACM/1380 which provided a background on how the committee was established highlighting that between December 1990 and February 2022 ACMSF have addressed many topics on microbiological safety of food, reviewed many of the FSA’s risk assessments, produced risk assessments, reviewed some of the FSA’s microbiological food surveys and considered issues brought to the committee from other government departments (FSS, Defra and UKHSA) and have published twenty-two technical reports.


8.3 Members were invited to comment on specific questions in the paper (see below):


8.4 In the ensuing discussion the following comments were made:

  • Very useful and interesting paper which has been well supported/informed by the contributions from Dr Cook and Prof McDowell.

What were the most important or biggest impact pieces of work you were involved with on the Committee?

  • A member who had served the maximum 10 years allowed as a committee member and reapplied to become a member after some years break from the committee, drew attention to some of the key technical reports the committee has produced (he was involved in 12 of the 22 published by the committee) over the years these include the report on:


  • Vacuum Packaging and Associated Processes (1992)
  • Second Report on Salmonella in Eggs (2001)
  • Mycobacterium bovis (2002)
  • Second Report on Campylobacter (2005)
  • Third Report on Campylobacter (2019)


  • He stated from the food industry’s perspective the vacuum packaging and associated processes report has made the biggest difference/most significant impact to industry operations as this led to clear guidance on controls for  non-proteolytic C. botulinum in food.


  • Members noted that the reports on Campylobacter have supported the development of the industry targets that led to the reduction of Campylobacter in retail chicken.


  • The structure and process used for the committee’s horizon scanning workshops were commended with particular reference made to the workshop  held in April 2020.


  • The Defra representative commented on the committee’s report on foodborne viruses which was a huge undertaking as the committee pulled together a very comprehensive assessment of viruses in the food chain.


  • Members noted that the committee’s impact is not restricted to the UK as it was reported that the committee reports on safe cooking of burgers and multidimensional representation of risks are used by the Food Safety Authority Ireland in some of its risk assessments.


  • The work first presented in 2019 to develop and improve the approach to risk assessment through aiding development of FSA/FSS guidelines was strongly commended.


  • The breadth of the committee has been one of its major strengths together with the excellent collegiality of the membership.


  • Superb support provided by the scientific and administrative secretariat was acknowledged.


What are the most important issues or challenges that the Committee may face in the next five years? Within the next 100 meetings (30 years)?

  • Members noted that the biggest challenge to the committee would be having the right people as members. It is the breadth of the individuals on the committee that has made it possible to think widely about microbiological risks from a variety of perspectives and maintaining this breadth is very important
  • A challenge flagged was the recognition of likely poorer health of the population. The persistent after-effects of COVID which may lead to more susceptibility to foodborne disease. More challenges in mitigating the risk, and the committee may need to make long COVID sufferers one of its vulnerable groups. ACMSF may need to revisit how we characterize vulnerable groups which was brought up at the last horizon scanning workshop.
  • Increased use of food banks associated with food safety risks is a challenge for the future.
  • Substantial changes in consumers behaviour in relation to cooking and food choices. The assumptions that have been used in the models that we have routinely use to predict behaviours and risks. Because behaviour will change our assumptions and our models need to be changed and we need to be mindful of reassessing the validity of the assumptions and the various models we use to assess risk and to determine interventions.
  • A key focus of the future is food security and all of the different drivers that feed into this. How reliant will the UK become on food importation and the possible intensification in domestic food production.
  • It would be good to have the two questions posed to the committee to become a standing item at future horizons scanning events.
  • Issues coming to ACMSF are becoming much more complex compared to the past such as considering the use of biocides in food processing (where chemical risks and microbiological risks are in opposition). This makes decision making much more complex. Similarly, ACMSF have come across situations where increasing waste and microbiological risks are in competition. ACMSF will increasingly come across situations where the environment and food safety are in competition. It would be important that ACMSF members gets grounding on how to cope with those situations.
  • Looking ahead the development of whole genome sequencing as a routine technique will allow all the departments that have interest in foodborne disease to efficiently tackle outbreaks and incidents.


9. UK Food Security Report 2021 (ACM/1391)

9.1 The Chair invited members to discuss the UKFSR (published in December 2021). This report sets out an analysis of statistical data relating to food security, fulfilling the duty in the Agriculture Act 2020 to present a report on food security to Parliament at least once every three years. Members focus was on the chapter related to foodborne disease and incidents. The Chair mentioned that this report was drawn to the committee’s attention by a member who felt some of the material in the report was relevant to the committee’s work. It was highlighted that Defra has not specifically sought input from ACMSF on the report.

9.2 The member who drew the report to the committee’s attention was invited to introduce the report. He informed the committee that the report was a useful summary of information covering a 5-year period of different organisms causing foodborne disease. It covered outbreaks, incidents and recalls. He stated that it would be valuable for the committee to look at the sections related to microbiological safety of food together with the report’s conclusion and consider whether the committee agrees with its conclusions.

9.3 The following comments were made by members on the report:

  • Interesting and very valuable resource.
  • Theme 5 (food safety and consumer confidence and UKFSR 2021 Appendix) is very relevant to ACMSF’s work. There is merit for the committee to discuss this and useful for a future horizon scanning discussion.
  • Although it is a report on food security, food safety has a prominent place in the report with appropriate caveats attached. ACMSF should support reports like this because of the variety of data it has been able to pull together.
  • A significant proportion of data has been pulled from the “Food and You” survey results and the levels of consumer confidence in different areas, such as the low confidence in the food delivery services with much higher confidence in restaurants, and yet when you look at the data restaurants are very commonly identified as the source of outbreaks. It would be useful for FSA to do an adjunct study to this report to look at the contrast or coherence between consumer confidence and the reality of where the threat is coming from. Also, mentioned to be missing in the report is the associations between specific organisms and different types of food, and characteristics of food outlets associated with outbreaks, eg food hygiene rating, which it was explained would be useful to consumers to enable them to manage their own risks.
  • A member highlighted the challenges the pig industry is facing which it was explained could mean the UK importing pig meat to meet consumer demands.
  • The committee was surprised that the authors of the report did not seek input from the FSA or ACMSF when it was produced. It was felt that representations should be made to the Defra group who commissioned the report conveying the merit of seeking ACMSF’s input in any future report that will cover microbiological safety of food.
  • The committee noted that while the report represented a good source of data, it lacked insight. The ACMSF, other Scientific Advisory Committees and the FSA may want to glean from the report what appropriate actions may be needed. The FSA, in its role as the competent authority for food safety, may want to map out some next steps as a consequence of the report.
  • The committee noted that it was curious that the report covered microbiological food safety but not chemical food safety. This was only mentioned in the incidents section.
  • In conclusion, the committee agreed that the secretariat should approach Senior Managers in the FSA to discuss how to interact with the Defra group who produced the report on how to involve ACMSF in future reports. ACTION


10. Committee update

Update of Activity for the ACMSF Ad Hoc Group on Toxin producing clostridia in Food

10.1 Dr Gary Barker (Chair of the group) provided the update. He reported that the subgroup was set up following a discussion item at the meeting of the ACMSF in April 2021 (ACM/1351) and in light of recommendations from the ACMSF Ad Hoc group on non-proteolytic Clostridium botulinum and Vacuum or Modified Atmosphere Packed Foods (ACM/1339). The objective of the subgroup is to produce a report, for consideration by ACMSF, which updates and builds on a previous ACMSF report on “Vacuum Packaging and Associated Processes” that was produced in 1992. Final Terms of Reference for the subgroup, and elements of the scope of the report, were presented at the last ACMSF meeting.

10.2 The full subgroup had a third meeting, using MS Teams, in December 2021.The group discussed the proposed content of the report and possible sources of additional specialist evidence. The meeting identified responsibilities for production of the individual chapters of the report, including chapters on taxonomy and genomics, epidemiology, detection, growth and survival, packaging and risk assessment. The meeting agreed on a list of appropriate specialists who might be asked to join a group meeting or supply additional views or evidence concerning foodborne botulism risks.

The ACMSF secretariat has identified an additional subgroup member, with appropriate expertise in aspects of human botulism, who will provide guidance at a future subgroup meeting.

10.3 The subgroup has developed a written synopsis for each of the proposed chapters of the final report. Collectively these provide the skeleton for further discussions and developments and for integration of cross cutting themes and trends. The Secretariat has contacted several subject experts and has developed a provisional timetable for interactions of subject experts and the subgroup.

10.4 The next meeting of the subgroup is scheduled in March 2022.


Update of Activity for the ACMSF Subgroup on Incidents

10.5 Dr Gary Barker (Chair of the group provided the update). He reported that during December 2021 the ACMSF Science, Evidence and Research Directorate asked the ACMSF Incidents subgroup to review and comment on a Draft Risk Assessment concerning un-chilled Qurbani meat and offal (Qurbani meat is produced and consumed during, and as part of, the 4-day Eid al-Adha festival).

10.6 Members of the subgroup responded to the request individually, including annotations of the draft assessment, in December and January.

10.7 Subgroup members’ assessment highlighted the complexity associated with the hazard domain and concentrated on a consideration of the disruption of a standard cold chain for Qurbani meat and the significance with respect to hazards that are usually associated with red meat such as Salmonella and Shiga Toxin producing E. coli. A full farm to fork risk assessment for Qurbani meat, involving multiple foods, multiple pathways, multiple agents and largely unknown consumer behaviour is very difficult to establish.

10.8 The subgroup’s comments included suggestions regarding the representations of information uncertainty within the assessment and a recommendation for improved clarity in relation to how the evidence presented in the report has been used to develop the outcome of the risk assessment. The subgroup also suggested that some clearly defined scenarios could help improve the clarity of the hazard domain.

10.9 The FSA risk assessment for Qurbani meat is still in progress.


Working Groups on AMR and Surveillance

10.10 Members noted that in January 2022 the AMR Working Group commented on the report of the Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance in E. coli and Campylobacter from retail turkey meat and E. coli from retail lamb. This survey was carried out between October 2020 and February 2021.

10.11 The AMR and Surveillance Working Groups are presently looking at the report of the Survey of Salmonella, Escherichia coli and antimicrobial resistance in frozen, part-cooked, breaded or battered poultry products on retail sale in the UK.

10.12 The Committee Chair who provided the above updates thanked members of the above groups that comment on the FSA survey reports.  He stated that the FSA considers the comments before the reports are published.



11. Dates of future meetings (ACM/1381)

11.1 The Chair drew members attention to paper ACM/1381 that outlined dates for 2022 (23 June and 20 October) and 2023 (9 February, 22 June and 19 October) meetings.


12. Any other business  

12.1 Members discussed the style used to produce the committee’s annual report. The current style presents facts of the committee’s activities as recorded in the meeting minutes. Although this style has been acceptable to members over the years, the suggestion to change the style used for these reports (which increase the length of these reports and make them less readable) was made. Following discussion, members favoured moving towards having a report which would be a narrative of topics considered in a year, bring out the output/impact of the committee’s advice together with an executive summary as a way forward for future reports. The secretariat indicated that they will confer with other FSA SACs on how they publish their reports and check that any future changes will be in-line with FSA/ Code of Practice for Scientific Advisory Committees (CoPSAC) guidance for SAC annual reports and update members. ACTION. Referring to CoPSAC, members discussed the purpose and owner of annual reports.

12.2 A member drew the committee’s attention to the FSA consultation on Less than thoroughly cooked beef burgers: guidance for food business operators and local authority officers (published on 27 January and closes for comments on 27 April 2022). She asked if this consultation was open to the committee for comments. The secretariat agreed to seek clarification from the FSA on the consultation and update the committee if their input was needed on this request to stakeholders seeking views on the proposed changes to the guidance on less than thoroughly cooked beef burgers. ACTION


13. Public Questions and Answers

13.1 Dr Kaarin Goodburn commented on the following subjects:

  • Kitchen Life Project: Christmas 2006 Chilled Food Association members swabbed 75 domestic fridges for Listeria spp. (inc Listeria monocytogenes speciation as required) - no Listeria spp. were found. Hypothesis was that there was so much competition from other organisms that Listeria spp. couldn't take hold. Other studies Dr Goodburn mentioned include a paper reporting finding of Cryptosporidium in a domestic fridge and kitchen swabbing study (swabbing of surfaces) Ben Chapman's group at University of Guelph carried out using a hidden camera. Study found pepper grinders to be the most contaminated item, highlighting its use for both food to be cooked (e.g. steaks) and RTE food (e.g. salads).
  • UKFSR 2021: This is to be produced 'at least every 3 years' which begs the question of how/where data for any intervening years is to be published (thinking especially of foodborne disease data). To enable better comparison with previous data it would have been more useful to retain the depth of data given in the EU One Health Zoonoses reports.
  • Listeria Micro Criteria: Is ACMSF aware/been briefed on the expected EC consultation on change to Listeria monocytogenes criteria 1.2 a/b to require challenge testing (GBP 10-15k/recipe) to set shelf life, otherwise Listeria monocytogenes should be Not Detected throughout shelf life? This would be a huge and ineffectual change to the current legislative and best practice established approach which is demonstrably effective at protecting public health. Will ACMSF be carrying out a risk assessment of potential impact of diverting financial resources away from hygiene controls? Dr Goodburn indicated that FSA Food Policy Team have been informed of this EU proposal.

13.2 The committee noted the comments but felt that ACMSF cannot get involved in this issue as the UK is no longer a member of the European Union. It was observed that although UK was no longer part of the EU, Northern Ireland still has to comply with the EU regulations.


14. FSA surveys on frozen breaded/battered chicken products (ACM/1382) Reserved Business

14.1 The committee was updated on survey of Salmonella, E. coli and AMR on frozen part-cooked breaded or battered products at retail sale in the UK and the social science survey on consumer handling of frozen breaded products in closed session.


Annex 1

List of observers



Roy Betts

Campden BRI

Dr Kaarin Goodburn

Chilled Foods Association

Gary McMahon

Moy Park

Pamela Mullan

Moy Park

Rachel Bayliss


Ali Aitchison


Andrea Petronida


Hannah Dougherty


Prof David McDowell

Former ACMSF Deputy Chair

Dr Jacob Hargreaves


Dr Marianne James


Svetlana Chobanova


Dr Amie Adkin


Dr Daniel Lloyd


Dr Elli Amanatidou


Katy Rosser


Tina Potter


Kath Rosser


Lawrence Finn


Dr Kathryn Callaghan