Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2002
Publication Date: 6/20/2002
Citation: Juneja, V.K., Ravishankar, S. 2002. Controlling Clostridium perfringens hazards during cooling. (Abstract). International Association Food Protection. S-13.
Technical Abstract: Clostridium perfringens is a continuing concern to the food service industry. The abilities of this pathogen to form heat-resistant spores and to grow at a very rapid rate at relatively high temperatures are the major contributing factors leading to food poisoning. Spores of C. perfringens, which have a decimal reduction value at 99C of 26 to 31 min, can be expected to survive the pasteurization temperatures and times used to cook or prepare foods in food service operations. While the temperature range for growth of C. perfringens is 6C to 52.3C, rapid growth occurs between 35 and 48.9C. The short generation time of the organism, 7.1 to 20 min in the rapid-growth temperature range, means that after the spore has germinated,fast cooling of foods is critical. Because of the potential health hazards in cooling cooked foods, the United States Department of Agriculture requires that, during cooling of certain meat and poultry products, the relative growth of C. perfringens should not exceed 1.0 log10. Researchers have developed predictive models that can be used to predict small to moderate amounts of relative growth of C. perfringens from spores during cooling of cooked cured and uncured meat products. The predictive equations are being used in risk assessment models for cooked meats and have been incorporated into the USDA pathogen modeling computer program available on the Eastern Regional Research Center website.