This text is concerned primarily with plans that may be applied to lots of food presented for acceptance at ports or other points of entry. Often, little or no information is available to the receiving agency about the method by which the food was processed or the record of previous performance by the same processor. Under these circumstances, attributes plans are appropriate. Variables sampling plans (see Sect. 7.3), which depend upon the nature of the frequency distribution of microorganisms within lots of foods, are suitable only if this distribution is known. Furthermore, variables sampling plans are not suited for presence/absence testing. This limits severely their usefulness in port-of-entry sampling, but they may be particularly helpful to food producers monitoring their own production.
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