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Conservative Prediction of Time to Clostridium botulinum Toxin Formation for Use with Time-Temperature Indicators To Ensure the Safety of Foods

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Integrating-type time-temperature indicators (TTIs) may be utilized to warn food processors and consumers about storage conditions that may have rendered a food potentially hazardous. As an example of how integrated TTls could be manufactured to emulate an infinite set of time-temperature situations, a set of conditions which have supported C. botulinum growth and toxin production was compiled. The time-temperature curve representing conservative times required for toxin formation was constructed with data from literature relating to toxin formation as a function of temperature in any media or food product. This set of critical time-temperature data is fit by a conservative empirical relationship that can be used to predict combinations of incubation times and storage temperatures that represent a potential health risk from C. botulinum in foods. A TTI could be constructed to indicate deviation from such a given set of conditions to bring attention to foods that may have been exposed to potentially hazardous temperatures with respect to C. botulinum toxin formation.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: National Center for Food Safety and Technology/Food and Drug Administration, Division of Food Processing and Packaging, Food Process Hazard Analysis Branch, Summit-Argo, Illinois 60501, USA

Publication date: September 1, 1998

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