Document Detail

Management of microbiological safety of ready-to-eat meat products by mathematical modelling: Listeria monocytogenes as an example.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17140689     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The recent Commission Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 establishes microbiological criteria in foods. For the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes in the category ready-to-eat foods able to support its growth, other than those intended for infants and for special medical purposes, two different microbiological criteria are proposed: (i) L. monocytogenes levels should be <100 cfu/g throughout the shelf-life of the product, (ii) absence in 25 g of the product at the stage before the food has left the immediate control of the food business operator, who has produced it. The application of either the first or the second of these criteria depends on whether or not the manufacturer is able to demonstrate that the level of L. monocytogenes in the food product will not exceed 100 cfu/g throughout its shelf-life. This demonstration should be based on physico-chemical characteristics of the target product and consultation of scientific literature, and, when necessary, on quantitative models and/or challenge tests. Once the characteristics of the product as well as scientific literature show that the pathogen has potential to grow on a specific food commodity, it seems adequate to use quantitative models and/or perform challenge tests to study the extent to which L. monocytogenes could grow. In this study, we aim to illustrate with an example in cooked ham the application of quantitative models as a tool to manage the compliance with these criteria. Two approaches were considered: deterministic and probabilistic, in three different commercial brands (A, B, and C). The deterministic approach showed that the limit 100 cfu/g was exceeded largely at the end of the shelf-life of all three; however, when reducing the storage time, the level of L. monocytogenes remained below 100 cfu/g in B. The probabilistic approach demonstrated very low percentiles corresponding to 100 cfu/g; when reducing the storage time, percentiles for three products increased, especially in products B and C (from 4.92% to 75.90%, and from 0.90% to 73.90%, respectively). This study shows how different storage times influence the level of L. monocytogenes at the end of the shelf-life of cooked ham, and, depending on the level reached, the microbiological criterion applied should be different, as stated above. Beside this, the choice of either point-estimate or probabilistic approach should be determined by the competent sanitary authority, and, in case of selecting the second approach, a certain percentile for the level 100 cfu/g should be established.
E Carrasco; A Valero; F Pérez-Rodríguez; R M García-Gimeno; G Zurera
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2006-11-30
Journal Detail:
Title:  International journal of food microbiology     Volume:  114     ISSN:  0168-1605     ISO Abbreviation:  Int. J. Food Microbiol.     Publication Date:  2007 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-02-19     Completed Date:  2007-05-14     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8412849     Medline TA:  Int J Food Microbiol     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  221-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Departamento de Bromatología y Tecnología de los Alimentos, Universidad de Córdoba, Campus Rabanales, Edif. Darwin-Anexo, 14014 Córdoba, Spain.
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MeSH Terms
Colony Count, Microbial
Consumer Product Safety*
Food Handling / methods*
Listeria monocytogenes / growth & development*
Meat Products / microbiology*
Models, Biological*
Time Factors

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