Submitted to: Journal of Food Safety
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/7/2004
Publication Date: 4/1/2004
Citation: Huang, L. 2004. Numerical analysis of the growth of clostridium perfringens in cooked beef under isothermal and dynamic conditions. Journal of Food Safety. 24:53-70.
Interpretive Summary: Food poisoning caused by Clostridium perfringens in ready-to-eat meat products has been associated with temperature abuse and process deviation frequently encountered in the food industry and food service settings. Presently it is impossible to conduct a real-time examination on the extent of bacterial growth in a laboratory. The methodology developed in this study could provide an accurate estimation of the bacterial growth in ready-to-eat meat products caused by temperature abuse and process deviation. It can be a new tool for food safety regulatory agencies, food industry, and retailers to assess the microbial safety of foods.
Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to develop a mathematical methodology to estimate the growth of C. perfringens in cooked beef under dynamic temperature conditions. Two differential equations governing the lag phase development and cell multiplication were proposed and solved using a 4th-order Runge-Kutta method. The proposed equations were validated using four different temperature profiles: 2 square-waves, linear cooling, and exponential cooling. Results indicated that the proposed method could accurately estimate the bacterial growth under various temperature conditions. The errors were generally less than 0.5 log(CFU/g). The methodology developed in this study can be a new approach for the food industry, food retailers and consumers, and regulatory agencies to predict and estimate the bacterial growth in cooked meat products under dynamic temperature abuse and deviation conditions.