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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #274913

Title: Microbial food safety - modeling and applications

item Sheen, Shiowshuh - Allen

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2011
Publication Date: 11/25/2011
Citation: Sheen, S. 2011. Microbial food safety - modeling and applications [abstract]. Department of Food Science and Technology, November 25, 2011, Hungkuang University. Taiwan. 1:1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Microbial food safety is a key issue for the food processing industry, and enhancing food safety is everyone’s responsibility from food producers to consumers. Financial losses to the economy due to foodborne illness are in the billions of dollars, annually. Foodborne illness can be caused by pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella,etc. Microbial inactivation can be achieved with thermal, nonthermal, and chemical interventions. However, very few processes guarantee a 100 percent safe food product. In order to aid the risk assessment process, mathematical models should be developed to predict foodborne pathogen growth and inactivation when exposed to a variety of environmental conditions including food formulation, temperature, and intervention technologies. The Pathogen Modeling Program (PMP,, a collection of microbial growth, inactivation and survival models, and ComBase, a database of published information, are currently available. The Predictive Microbiology Information Portal (PMIP, has been established to serve as a gateway to access the PMP and ComBase. The PMP has become one of the popular modeling tools used by government agencies and food companies for food safety applications and is downloaded more than 8,000 times each year in over 35 countries. PMIP development is coordinated by the scientists at the Eastern Regional Research Center (ERRC) of USDA-Agriculture Research Service (ARS), in collaboration with USDA-Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and other non-USDA partners in industry and academia. The PMP contains 60+ models, which includes both static and dynamic temperature parameters. These models allow users to modify some food formulation and processing conditions, to predict and/or to describe the growth, survival, and death potentials of various bacterial food-borne pathogens. Models to describe microbial surface transfer during slicing operations of ready-to-eat meats have recently been added. PMP is under expansion to include models applicable to seafood shelf-life as affected by exposure to modified atmospheres.