The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service has announced the re-chartering of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods and welcomed the addition of 22 new members. 

The committee is charged with providing recommendations to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services on microbiological criteria by which the safety and wholesomeness of food can be assessed. That work includes criteria for microorganisms that indicate whether foods have been adequately and appropriately processed. 

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"NACMCF's work provides FSIS and the Food and Drug Administration with a valuable resource for obtaining external expert advice on scientific and technical food safety issues for our nation's food safety programs," said FSIS Administrator Al Almanza. "Re-chartering this committee benefits the public interest and fulfills statutory responsibilities." 

The committee membership consists of scientists from academia, industry, other organizations and federal and state government as well as one individual affiliated with a consumer group, who is serving in a representational capacity. Committee members are appointed by the USDA secretary in consultation with the secretary of Health and Human Services with advice on membership from the Department of Commerce's National Marine Fisheries Service, the Department of Defense's Defense Logistics Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.