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Modeling Food Spoilage in Microbial Risk Assessment

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In this study, I describe a systematic approach for modeling food spoilage in microbial risk assessment that is based on the incorporation of kinetic spoilage modeling in exposure assessment by combining data and models for the specific spoilage organisms (SSO: fraction of the total microflora responsible for spoilage) with those for pathogens. The structure of the approach is presented through an exposure assessment application for Escherichia coli O157:H7 in ground beef. The proposed approach allows for identifying spoiled products at the time of consumption by comparing the estimated level of SSO (pseudomonads) with the spoilage level (level of SSO at which spoilage is observed). The results of the application indicate that ignoring spoilage in risk assessment could lead to significant overestimations of risk.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Food Science and Technology, Laboratory of Food Hygiene and Microbiology, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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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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