(NIHSJ-MMEF: National Institute of Health Sciences Japan
    - The Methods for the Microbiological Examination of Foods)
  Codex committee has provided a guideline (CAC/GL 21-1997) for establishing microbiological criteria into a series of foods by each government. This guideline requires that each government should set and/or regard internationally harmonized standard method(s) as golden standard for food microbiological testing, and that the performance of any alternative methods should be validated with the international standard methods as references. A series of microbiological testing methods had been applied into food standards in Japan. However, recent trends for international harmonization proposes us the necessity for the review of the frame to establish microbiological testing methods that support the microbiological criteria in foods.

  Since 2006, we have organized the committee comprised by experts in the field of food microbiology, to scientifically propose several microbiological testing methods for establish and/or improve microbiological criteria. To establish “NIHSJ-MMEF: National Institute of Health Sciences Japan- The Methods for the Microbiological Examination of Foods”, we have made constructive and step-wise actions such as evaluation, validation, and so on. We believe that the NIHSJ-MMEF thus consecutively support construction and review of the food microbiological testing methods in Japan.

  As the NIHSJ-MMEF are scientifically evaluated through validation processes, we expect that our achievements could contribute to the establishment or development of certain microbiological criteria applied to a variety of foods in our country, but could be also used as a reference method to evaluate the performance of any alternative method, to facilitate appropriate introduction and use of the latter that can be used for manufacturing process management at food manufacturing factories in our country.