Regulatory Update: Philippines’ FDA Publishes New Microbiological Standards For Prepackaged Processed Foods

Philippines: On 21 December 2022, the Food and Drug Administration published new guidelines on the microbiological requirements and assessment of certain prepackaged processed food products repealing FDA Circular No. 2013-010.

This new FDA Circular No.2022-012 serves as guidelines for the assessment of microbiological quality of certain prepackaged processed foods in Philippines.

  1. Milk and Dairy Products:
    • Heat Treated Fermented Milks (Sterilized, UHT)
    • Soft Cheese (from pasteurized milk)
    • Hard and Semi-Hard Cheese
    • Cream Cheese Products
  2. Fats, Oils and Fat Emulsions: Virgin Coconut Oil
  3. Edible Ices, Including Sherbet and Sorbet: Ice Products (pre-packaged tubed and cubed ice)
  4. Confectioneries:
    • Ethnic Milk-based Confectioneries (Pastillas and Yema)
    • Ethnic Flour-based Confectioneries (Polvoron, Piaya and Barquillos)
    • Coconut Sap Sugar
    • Dry, Granulated Sugar
    • Liquid Sugar (sugar syrup)
    • Non-nutritive Sweeteners (e.g., aspartame, sucralose) and bulk sweeteners (e.g., polyols)
  5. Fruits and Vegetables, Nuts and Seeds:
    • Dried Fruits (e.g., dried mangoes, dates, figs, apricots, raisins etc.)
    • Ethnic Food Products – Sweet Preserves in Syrup (e.g., Kaong, Langka, Banana, legumes, chickpeas, red beans, white kidney beans, Coconut, Nata de Coco, Mixed Preserves – Halo-Halo)
    • Purple Yam (Ube) Jam (Halaya)
    • Malunggay (Moringa) Powder
  6. Cereals and Cereal Products:
    • Dry Mixes (e.g., Pancake mix, Purple yam mix)
    • Coconut Flour
    • Instant Noodles (noodle cake)
    • Instant Noodles (mixed with seasonings)
    • Rice Based Desserts (rice cakes), ready to eat (e.g., kakanin, suman, layered, moulded, rice balls, mochi)
  7. Meat and Meat Products:
    • Marinated Meat Products (e.g., Marinated meat and meat preparations – tapa, sisig, etc., marinated poultry, Dim sum made from meat – siomai)
    • Minced meat and meat preparations made from poultry meat intended to be eaten cooked
    • Minced meat and meat preparations made from species other than poultry intended to be eaten cooked
    • Foods Cooked Immediately Prior to Sale or Consumption (e.g., Takeaway food, burgers, kebabs, sausages, pizza, ready meals – cook/chill and cook/freeze after regeneration)
  8. Fish and Other Seafood Products:
    • Cooked Crustaceans
    • Ethnic Food Products – Dried, Salted Fish
    • Smoked Fish
    • Salt Fermented Fish and Shrimps (bagoong)
    • Thermally Processed Fish Products
    • Aquatic Products: cooked (heat-treated) aquatic product, intended for human consumption aquatic plant products (algae)
    • Fish and Crustacean Based Processed Meat (e.g., fish ball, squid ball)
  9. Spices, Soups, Sauces, Salads and Protein Products:
    • Food Grade Gelatin
    • Emulsified sauce pH ≤4.6 (e.g., Mayonnaise, Thousand Island, Ranch, French)
    • Instant Noodles Seasoning
    • Ready to eat Flavourings or Instant Condiments (e.g., soy sauce and sauce products, composite seasonings)
    • Aquatic Dressing
    • Salads and Sandwich Spreads (excluding cocoa milk-based sandwich spreads)
  10. Beverages:
    • Juices in Hermetically Sealed Containers (Tetra Pack etc.)
    • Fruit Beverage Products
    • Bottled Water (Purified/Distilled Water)
    • Bottled Water (Mineral Water)
    • Chilled Young Coconut Water (Buko juice)
  11. Food For Infants and Young Children:
    • Formula for Medical Purposes and Human Milk Fortifiers
    • Formula for Special Medical Purposes for Young Children
    • Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) and Ready-to-Use-Supplementary Foods (RUSF), 6-59 months of age.


Food and Republic of the Philippines Department of Health Food and Drug Administration. (2022). Guidelines on the Microbiological Requirements and Assessment of Certain Prepackaged Processed Food Products Repealing FDA Circular No. 2013-010 entitled “Revised Guidelines for the Assessment of Microbiological Quality of Processed Foods” (FDA Circular No. 2022-012).Drug Administration. (2023). Notification of the Ministry of Public Health (No.441) B.E 2566 (2023) Issued By Virtue Of The Food Act, B.E. 2522 (1979) Re: Chocolate And Chocolate Products.