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Modeling the Level of Contamination of Staphylococcus aureus in Ready-to-Eat Kimbab in Korea

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The risk of Staphylococcus aureus in ready-to-eat kimbab (rice rolled in laver) sold in Korea was evaluated by a mathematical modeling approach. Four nodes were constructed from preparation at retail to consumption. A predictive microbial growth model and survey data were combined with probabilistic modeling to simulate the level of S. aureus in a single kimbab at the time of consumption. We estimated the mean level of S. aureus to be 2.92 log CFU/g for a typical kimbab (150 to 200 g each) at the time of consumption. Our model also showed that 29.73% of the kimbabs had ≥100,000 S. aureus CFU/g, which poses some risk of illness, since some level of enterotoxin would be expected from toxigenic strains. However, because of the lack of dose-response models for staphylococcal enterotoxin, the final level of S. aureus in the kimbabs could not be used to estimate how many people would become ill from eating them. Correlation sensitivity results showed that consumer eating patterns and initial contamination levels at retail stores were the most significant risk factors for illness and that temperature control under 10°C was a critical control point in kimbab retail establishments to prevent the growth of S. aureus.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Industry Development, Korea Health Industry Development Institute, Seoul, 156-800, Korea; National Food Safety & Toxicology Center and the Food Safety Policy Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA 2: Department of Veterinary Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chunchon, Kangwon, 200-701, Korea 3: School of Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Kangwon National University, Chunchon, Kangwon, 200-701, Korea 4: Department of Food Science and Technology, Chung-Ang University, Anseong, Gyeonggi, 456-756, Korea 5: National Food Safety & Toxicology Center and the Food Safety Policy Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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