Adopt a structured approach to identifying environmental sources of microbial food contaminants, as a means of promoting food safety. Microbial contamination of food products can arise not only from the product itself (e.g. raw materials, ingredients) but also from the environment - during processing, storage and distribution. Effective sampling of the food environment for problem microorganisms is a key aspect of preventing microbial contamination of foods - and is best done in a systematic way. This guide is designed to help food companies make informed decisions and develop a structured approach to issues of microbiological sampling of food environments.