The National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) has appointed 18 new members and 12 returning members who will provide science-based advice related to food safety matters to the US Government.

The announcement was made by the US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

NACMCF includes a discretionary advisory committee that provides scientific advice and peer reviews to food safety agencies on public health issues related to the safety and nutritional value of domestic, imported and exported foods.

Additionally, the committee has the responsibility to provide scientific advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“The committee members represent a diverse group from academia, consumers, the food industry, laboratories, consultants, and government agencies.”

NACMCF was established in 1988 by the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the HHS, the Department of Commerce, and the US Department of Defence.

Perdue said: “Food safety and ensuring public health continues to be at the forefront of the USDA’s mission.

“The committee members represent a diverse group from academia, consumers, the food industry, laboratories, consultants, and government agencies, all of which play an important role in providing scientific advice and expertise to the USDA on food safety and wholesomeness.”

NACMCF is said to have played a key role in formulating and standardising the principles of hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) systems.

It also developed reference documents underlining the role of regulatory agencies, the industry, and consumers to control specific foodborne pathogens.

The newly appointed NACMCF members will serve for a period of two terms.