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Published January 19, 2024 | Version v18
Dataset Open

Updated list of QPS-recommended microorganisms for safety risk assessments carried out by EFSA

  • 1. European Food Safety Authority
  • 2. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 3. Spanish National Research Council (Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC), Spain
  • 4. Universidad de León, Spain
  • 5. Teagasc, Ireland
  • 6. Institute of Agriculture and Food Research and Technology (IRTA), Spain
  • 7. French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire de l'Alimentation, de l'Environnement et du Travail, ANSES), France
  • 8. Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna (Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna, UNIBO), Italy
  • 9. University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien), Austria
  • 10. National Food Agency, Sweden
  • 11. Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
  • 12. Faculdade de Farmacia da Universidade do Porto (FFUP), Portugal
  • 13. Veterinary Public Health Institute of Piedmont, Liguria and Aosta Valley (Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte Liguria e Valle d'Aosta, IZSPLVA), Italy
  • 14. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) − Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), the United Kingdom
  • 15. Agricultural University of Athens, Greece
  • 16. Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS – National Institute of Health), Italy
  • 17. Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy
  • 18. Polytechnic University of Cartagena, Spain
  • 19. Wageningen University and Research Centre,. The Netherlands
  • 20. Universidad de Oviedo, Spain
  • 21. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
  • 22. Wageningen University, the Netherlands
  • 23. Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, Ministry of the Flemish Community, Belgium
  • 1. European Food Safety Authority


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 2022 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):  

Version 10: updates version 9 following the update of the qualification of Bacillus velezensis as: ‘absence of toxigenic potential and absence of aminoglycoside production ability’ - applied in the QPS Statement part 11 (ON-5965) and in the 2019 Scientific Opinion (ON-5966).

Version 11: updates version 10 following the addition of the Bacillus circulans ‘for production purposes only’ - applied in the QPS Statement part 13 (ON-6377) and in the 2019 Scientific Opinion (ON-5966).

Version 12 updates version 11 following the addition of the Bacillus paralicheniformis with the qualifications 'absence of toxigenic activity’ and ‘absence of genetic information to synthesize bacitracin'; and adding Schizochytrium limacinum, which is a synomym for Aurantiochytrium limacinum, - applied in the QPS Statement part 14 (ON-6689) and in the 2019 Scientific Opinion (ON-5966).

Version 13 updates version 12 following the addition of Haematococcus lacustris synonym Haematococcus pluvialis, recommended for QPS status with the qualification ‘for production purposes only’. Some other changes related to taxonomy and qualifications are described in the QPS Statement part 15 (ON-7045).

Version 14, update of version 13, is related to QPS Statement part 16 (ON-7408).

Version 15  is related to QPS Statement part 17 (ON-7746).

Version 16  is related to QPS Statement part 18 (ON-8092).

Version 17 is related to QPS Statement part 19 (ON-8517).

Version 18 is also related to QPS Statement part 19 (ON-8517) with a small correction.



Note: As of January 2022 the updated list is provided only as excel file format.




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