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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

PMP FAQs - Initial Level and Level of Concern
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1.  What is meant by “Initial Level”?

This is an arbitrary value that you can set to indicate the initial level of bacteria in the sample at the beginning of the growth scenario. The lowest and highest values that you can select are restricted based on the levels used in the experimental data that form the model.

2.  What is meant by "Level of Concern"?

Level of Concern is an arbitrary level that you select for a target level of growth. The calculated time to reach the Level of Concern is shown in the box labeled “Time to Increase [Level of Concern minus Initial Level] logs”.

3.  Is there a recommended Level of Concern?

There is no recommended Level of Concern. You must select the level.

4.  Is there a generally accepted level of a pathogen in food at which point it becomes a food safety issue?

The minimum level of a pathogen that poses a health risk depends on many factors, such as the susceptibility of the affected population and the quantity of food that is consumed. We do not indicate any specific level for a pathogen.


Last Modified: 1/20/2006