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Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment for Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus Enterotoxin A in Raw Milk

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A quantitative microbial risk assessment was constructed to determine consumer risk from Staphylococcus aureus and staphylococcal enterotoxin in raw milk. A Monte Carlo simulation model was developed to assess the risk from raw milk consumption using data on levels of S. aureus in milk collected by the University of California–Davis Dairy Food Safety Laboratory from 2,336 California dairies from 2005 to 2008 and using U.S. milk consumption data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2003 and 2004. Four modules were constructed to simulate pathogen growth and staphylococcal enterotoxin A production scenarios to quantify consumer risk levels under various time and temperature storage conditions. The three growth modules predicted that S. aureus levels could surpass the 105 CFU/ml level of concern at the 99.9th or 99.99th percentile of servings and therefore may represent a potential consumer risk. Results obtained from the staphylococcal enterotoxin A production module predicted that exposure at the 99.99th percentile could represent a dose capable of eliciting staphylococcal enterotoxin intoxication in all consumer age groups. This study illustrates the utility of quantitative microbial risk assessments for identifying potential food safety issues.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA 2: Department of Population, Health, and Reproduction, Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Tulare, California 93274, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) 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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