Submitted to: International Journal of Food Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/2/2003
Publication Date: 1/2/2003
Citation: HUANG, L. DYNAMIC COMPUTER SIMULATION OF CLOSTRIDIUM PERFRINGENS IN COOKED GROUND BEEF. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FOOD MICROBIOLOGY. 2003. V. 87. P. 217-227. Interpretive Summary: Temperature abuse is an unavoidable problem in the food industry, and is a major cause of foodborne outbreaks of Clostridium perfringens gastroenteritis associated with processed meat products, such as ham, roast beef, and corned beef. Currently there exists no reliable tool to accurately estimate the extent of microbial growth under dynamic temperature conditions. The objective of this research was to develop a computer simulation algorithm to predict the growth of C. perfringens spores in cooked ground beef undergoing dynamically-abused temperature conditions. Laboratory tests revealed that the results of computer simulation matched closely with the experimental data. If adopted by the food industry and relevant regulatory agencies, this computer simulation algorithm can provide a real-time assessment of the microbial safety of C. perfringens in processed meat products undergoing dynamically-abused temperature conditions and prevent the spoiled products from entering the market.
Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to develop a computer simulation algorithm to dynamically estimate and predict the growth of C. perfringens spores in cooked ground beef. The computational algorithm was based on the implicit form of the Gompertz model, the growth kinetics of C. perfringens in cooed beef, and the 4th-order Runge-Kutta numerical analysis method. This algorithm was validated using a cocktail of three strains of C. perfringens spores grown under isothermal, square-waved, linear cooling, and exponential cooling temperature profiles. In general, the results of computer simulation matched closely with the experimental data with the absolute errors less than 0.5 log10 (CFU/g). This method may be a useful tool for the food industry, regulatory agencies, distributors, and retailers to evaluate the effect of temperature abuse on the microbial safety of C. perfringens and other foodborne pathogens in processed meat products.