ACMSF Public Meeting 5 December 2000 Agenda and Papers

The public meeting on 5 December was held in the Insurance Hall, 20 Aldermanbury, London EC2V 7HY. A copy of the provisional agenda is attached. The final 30 minutes of the agenda was set aside to allow members of the public to ask any questions they had about agenda items or, more generally, about the Committee and its work.


The ACMSF provides the Food Standards Agency with independent scientific advice on the microbiological safety of food. Its Chairman is Professor Douglas Georgala, an independent scientific consultant and retired Director of the Institute of Food Research.

The Committee held its first public meeting on 5 December 2000. This is part of the move to open up the Committee¿s work to greater public scrutiny. It's agendas, minutes and papers (subject to a few exceptions on grounds of commercial and other sensitivities) are already publicly available.


1. Chairman's introduction

2. Apologies for absence

3. Minutes of the 38th meeting

Members will be asked to agree ACM/MIN/38 as a correct record of the meeting held on 19 September 2000.

4. Matters arising

5. ACMSF reporting lines and terms of reference

Members will be asked to consider a Secretariat paper outlining the legislative arrangements under which the Committee now reports to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on the microbiological safety of food; and to comment on revised terms of reference reflecting this change.

6. Annual Report 2000

Members will be asked to consider a draft of the Committee¿s 2000 Annual Report and to consider arrangements for finalising the report and submitting it to the FSA prior to publication.

7. Food Standards Agency national study on the microbiological quality and heat processing of cows¿ milk

The Committee received Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis results from this study in September 2000. Results from the other microbiological examinations carried out under the study will be presented for members' consideration.

8. Clostridium botulinum

Following consideration of an FSA paper (ACM/479) at its June 2000 meeting, members requested a further paper addressing a number of issues including the need for food safety advice in connection with new products, the case for challenge testing, and possible enforcement difficulties. Members will consider the further paper to be presented by FSA.

9. Verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC)

Members will receive oral reports on VTEC conferences in Edinburgh and Japan and on the work of the Joint FSA/Scottish Executive Task Force on E. coli O157.

10. Listeria monocytogenes

Members will consider what lessons are to be learned from outbreaks in France and the USA, on the basis of an FSA paper. This item has been carried over from the Committee¿s June meeting.

11. Zoonotic potential of Norwalk-like virus and Rotavirus

Members will consider an assessment by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency of papers on Norwalk-like calicivirus genes in farm animals; and a Public Health Laboratory Service molecular typing study of human rotaviruses.

12. Ad Hoc Group on Risk Control

The Chairman of this Ad Hoc Group, set up to conduct a scoping exercise on risk control in sectors of the food industry where HACCP principles have not yet been adequately applied, and in the home, will provide an oral report of a meeting of the Group held on 26 October.

13. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) and Johne¿s disease

Members will receive oral reports on FSA plans for a stakeholder workshop on MAP, and on a MAFF-funded review by the Scottish Agriculture College of Johne's disease.

14. Review of risk procedures

Members will consider the recommendations from the report of the group led by Sir Robert May (the Government¿s former Chief Scientific Adviser) of a review of risk procedures used by the government's advisory committees dealing with food safety.

15. Public question and answer session

Members of the public will have an opportunity to ask any questions they may have about the Committee and its work.

For further information, contact:
ACMSF Secretariat,
Room 429A Ergon House,
PO Box 31037,
17 Smith Square,
London SW1P 3JR.

tel : 0207-238-6101/6384
fax : 0207-238-6745.