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The list of QPS status recommended biological agents for safety risk assessments carried out by EFSA

EFSA BIOHAZ Panel; Koutsoumanis, Konstantinos; Allende, Ana; Alvarez-Ordonez, Avelino; Bolton, Declan; Bover-Cid, Sara; Chemaly, Marianne; Davies, Robert; De Cesare, Alessandra; Hilbert, Friederike; Lindqvist, Roland; Nauta, Maarten; Peixe, Luisa; Ru, Giuseppe; Simmons, Marion; Skandamis, Panagiotis; Suffredini, Elisabetta; Cocconcelli, Pier Sandro; Fernández Escámez, Pablo Salvador; Maradona, Miguel Prieto; Querol, Amparo; Suarez, Juan Evaristo; Sundh, Ingvar; Vlak, Just; Barizzone, Fulvio; Correia, Sandra; Herman, Lieve

Aguilera-Gómez, Margarita; Aguillera, Jaime; Bote, Katrin; Brozzi, Rosella; Gelbmann, Wolfgang; Heng, Leng; Istace, Frédérique; Richardson, Malcolm; Romero, Patricia; Rossi, Annamaria

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) asked the Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) to deliver a scientific Opinion on the maintenance of the list of qualified presumption of safety (QPS) biological agents. The QPS approach was developed by the EFSA Scientific Committee to provide a harmonised generic pre-evaluation to support safety risk assessments of biological agents intentionally introduced into the food and feed chain, in support of the concerned scientific Panels and Units in the frame of market authorisations.

The taxonomic identity, body of knowledge, the safety concerns in relation to pathogenicity and virulence, and the safety for the environment of those microbiological agents are assessed. Safety concerns identified for a respective taxonomic unit (TU) are, where possible and reasonable in number, reflected as ‘qualifications’ that are assessed at the strain level by the EFSA’s scientific Panels.

The “list of microorganisms with QPS status” first established in 2007, has been revised and updated annually until 2014 via QPS Opinions; since 2014 the updates are carried out and published every 3 years. If new information is retrieved from extended literature searches (ELS) that would change the QPS status of a TU or its qualifications, this is also published in the Panel Statement covering the previous 6-months period. The ELS protocol can be found at and the Search strategies are available at:


The QPS Panel Statement also includes the evaluation of microbiological agents notified to EFSA within the 6-month period for an assessment for feed additives, food enzymes, food additives and flavourings, and novel foods or plant protection products for a possible QPS status. The new QPS status recommendations are incorporated into the 2019 updated “list of microorganisms with QPS status” is available in this upload. The list of “Microbiological agents as notified to EFSA from 2007, in the context of technical dossiers to EFSA Units, for intentional use in feed and/or food or as sources of food and feed additives, enzymes and plant protection products (PPPs) for safety assessment can be found at


Useful links on EFSA QPS

EFSA topic on QPS:

Link to the virtual issue on QPS on Wiley Online Library:

Versions history:

Versions 1 and 2 were substituted by version 3 – all are associated with the QPS Panel statement EFSA 7: suitability of taxonomic units notified to EFSA until September 2017:

Version 4 is associated with the QPS Panel statement EFSA 8: suitability of taxonomic units notified to EFSA until March 2018:

Versions 5 and 6 were substituted by version 7 – all are associated with the QPS Panel statement EFSA 9: suitability of taxonomic units notified to EFSA until September 2018:

Version 8 is associated with the QPS Panel statement EFSA 10: suitability of taxonomic units notified to EFSA until March 2019:

Version 9 is associated with the QPS Panel statement EFSA 11: suitability of taxonomic units notified to EFSA until September  2019: and with the Scientific Opinion on the update of the list of QPS-recommended biological agents intentionally added to food or feed as notified to EFSA (2017-2019):

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