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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #344381

Research Project: Development of Predictive Microbial Models for Food Safety using Alternate Approaches

Location: Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research

Title: The risk of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections associated with consumption of raw oysters as affected by processing and distribution conditions in Taiwan

Author
item Huang, Yen-shan - National Taiwan Ocean University
item Hwang, Cheng-an - Andy
item Huang, Lihan
item Wu, Vivian
item Hsiao, Hsin-i - National Taiwan Ocean University

Submitted to: Food Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/20/2017
Publication Date: 10/27/2017
Citation: Huang, Y., Hwang, C., Huang, L., Wu, V.C., Hsiao, H. 2017. The risk of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections associated with consumption of raw oysters as affected by processing and distribution conditions in Taiwan. Food Control. 86:101-109.

Interpretive Summary: Raw oysters are frequently linked to illnesses caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus worldwide. This study was conducted to evaluate the risk posed by V. parahaemolyticus using data available in Taiwan. Data such as contamination rates and levels and growth models of V. parahaemolyticus in oysters and the postharvest processing and transportation time and temperature were analyzed to identify the probability of risk and factors that are associated with the consumption of raw oysters. Results show that post-harvest processing and distribution temperatures are significant risk factors, and maintaining the temperatures below 12 degrees C would significantly reduce the annual incidence of V. parahaemolyticus infections. The findings would help the oyster industry to adopt proper control measures during oyster processing and distribution to improve the microbiological safety of raw oysters.

Technical Abstract: The steadily increased consumption of raw oysters in Taiwan warrants an assessment of the risk (probability of illness) of raw oyster consumption attributed by Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The aim of this study was to estimate the risk of V. parahaemolyticus infection associated with raw oyster consumption as affected by various factors, mainly including contamination levels, and the time and temperature during postharvest processing and distribution. The risk assessment was conducted using @Risk, with input including the initial levels and prevalence of total and pathogenic V. parahaemolyticus, temperature and time during processing and transportation, growth/inactivation of V. parahaemolyticus, consumption, and a dose response model. Results show that the mean probability of a person acquiring V. parahaemolyticus infection by consuming raw oysters is 8.56×10-5 (CI: 0.000-0.4.5×10-3) per serving of oyster. Sensitivity analyses show that the contamination rates, prevalence of virulent strains, and processing and distribution temperatures are significant risk-contributing factors. This study suggests that maintaining temperatures below 12 degrees C during oyster processing and distribution could significantly reduce the annual incidences of V. parahaemolyticus infections.