This International Standard gives general requirements and guidance/options intended for three main uses:
⎯ implementation of ISO/TC 34/SC 9 or ISO/TC 34/SC 5 standards for detection or enumeration of
microorganisms, named hereafter “specific standards”;
⎯ good laboratory practice for food microbiological laboratories (the purpose is not to detail them in this
International Standard, manuals are available for that purpose);
⎯ guidance for accreditation of food microbiological laboratories (this International Standard describes the
technical requirements according to Annex B of ISO/IEC 17025:2005 for the accreditation of a
microbiological laboratory by national organizations).
The requirements of this International Standard supersede the corresponding ones of existing specific
Additional instructions in the field of molecular biology examinations are specified in ISO 22174.
This International Standard covers examination for bacteria, yeasts and moulds and can be used if
supplemented with specific guidance for prions, parasites and viruses. It does not cover the examination for
toxins or other metabolites (e.g. amines) from microorganisms.
This International Standard applies to the microbiology of food, animal feeding stuffs, the food production
environment and the primary production environment.
The purpose of this International Standard is to help to ensure the validity of food microbiology examinations,
to assist in ensuring that the general techniques used for conducting these examinations are the same in all
laboratories, to help achieve homogeneous results in different laboratories, and to contribute towards the
safety of the laboratory personnel by preventing risks of infection.