Computer Program Predicts Presence of Food
March 21, 1997
Easy to install and easy to use, an updated computer software package can
help the food industry predict the fate of harmful microorganisms in products.
Scientists with USDAs
Agricultural Research Service developed
the Pathogen Modeling
Program to track the survival and growth of E. coli 0157:H7 and
other pathogens. The program supplies a first-round estimate of the safety
potential of foods during product development by industry or during safety
evaluation by regulatory agencies. It gives microbiologists in the food
industry and regulatory agencies a quick, accurate, inexpensive way to
engineer safety into foods.
The user types in information on food formulation or storage conditions,
including temperature, salt levels and acidity. Then the program graphically
predicts the growth or death of the pathogen.
The newest version of the program--the fifth--contains growth models for
Aeromonas hydrophila, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli
0157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Shigella
flexneri, Staphylococcus aureus, and Yersinia enterocolitica.
Earlier versions have been distributed worldwide to over 800 users.
Free of charge, the program can be downloaded from the World Wide Web site
of ARS Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, Pa. The WWW address
Scientists at the centers Microbial Food Safety Research Unit
designed the program. It runs on IBM-compatible computers with Windows
Scientific contact: Robert Buchanan, USDA-ARS Eastern Regional
Research Center, Wyndmoor, Pa., phone (215) 233-6636, fax (215) 233-6581,