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Presence and Significance of Bacillus cereus in Dehydrated Potato Products

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Dehydrated potato contains Bacillus cereus at a prevalences of 10 to 40% and at numbers usually less than 103 CFU g−1. B. cereus in dehydrated potato is likely to be present as spores that are able to survive drying of the raw vegetable and may represent a significant inoculum in the reconstituted (rehydrated) product where conditions favor germination of, and outgrowth from, spores. Holding rehydrated mashed potato alone, or as part of another product (e.g., potato-topped pie), at temperatures above 10°C and below 60°C may allow growth of vegetative B. cereus. Levels exceeding 104 CFU g−1 are considered hazardous to human health and may be reached within a few hours if stored inappropriately between these temperatures. Foods incorporating mashed potato prepared from dehydrated potato flakes have been implicated in B. cereus foodborne illness. This review is a summary of the information available concerning the prevalence and numbers of B. cereus in dehydrated potato flakes and the rate at which growth might occur in the rehydrated product.

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Food Safety Programme, Institute of Environmental Science and Research, P.O. Box 29-181, 27 Creyke Road, Ilam, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand

Publication date: February 1, 2007

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