Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Food safety challenges associated with traditional foods in German-speaking regions

Volume 43, September 2014, Pages 217–230


The “German-speaking region” in Central Europe is characterized by a large variety of regional food specialities and long tradition in craftsman's skills and experience in safe small-scale food processing and preservation. There is also increasing interest in these traditional products in other countries. Hence, this paper discusses the properties of characteristic food products, and outlines the steps critical for their safety. Such foods include fermented milk products (in particular cheeses), meat and fish products, fermented vegetables, and baked goods such as sourdough breads and spiced cookies. Data analysed show, among others, that (1) hard cheeses made from raw milk are regarded as safe, due to effective hurdles which eliminate foodborne pathogens during production and ripening, and semi-hard cheeses made from raw milk – which are generally ripened for more than 60 days – exhibit only a low health risk if Good Manufacturing Practice (including mastitis control) and effective HACCP systems (e.g. control of starter activity) are implemented; (2) Listeria monocytogenes is not a hazard specific to products from raw milk since it may grow on the surface of smear- and mold ripened cheeses after recontamination, and can be effectively controlled by monitoring systems including environmental samples; (3) semi-dry and dry sausages have a favourable record of safety whereas, in the manufacture of some undried, spreadable types, salmonellae (especially in pork sausages) and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC; especially in sausages containing meat from ruminants) are frequently reduced only by one log cycle or less. Hence, the safety of these products critically depends on the quality of the raw material. This stresses the need of implementing Good Manufacturing Practice also in traditional processes.


  • Traditional food;
  • German-speaking regions;
  • Food safety;
  • Dairy products;
  • Meat products;
  • Plant products
Corresponding author. Tel.: +49 661 9640 376; fax: +49 661 9640 399.