S40 Steps toward the Practical Use of Microbial Models for Food Safety Assessments by the Food Industry

Monday, July 27, 2015: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
B117 - B119 (Oregon Convention Center)
Primary Contact: Dennis Seman
Organizers: Richard Whiting , Paw Dalgaard and Cheng-An Hwang
Convenors: Alejandro Amezquita and Richard Whiting
Microbial models are becoming an important tool for food safety research for assessing microbial risks that may rise from food manufacturing.  Many of these models have become common place and are used by the food industry to determine effects of formulations, processes and handling on the safety of food products. Examples are models for fate of L. monocytogenes in deli meat as affected by many factors including lactate/diacetate content in formulation, thermal processing time and temperature, cross-contamination during slicing, and outgrowth of Clostridium perfringens during cooling. However, many in industry, especially the small food producers, may not be able to use these models effectively.  This is largely due to their lack of food safety expertise and/or resources to fully understand, interpret, and validate the models and results. In addition, when using models, the industry professionals may misapply a microbial model or have no confidence on models that are not specific and overly conservative. All these are believed to lead to the limited adaption of microbial models by the food industry. The goals of this symposium are to 1) Illustrate examples and the usefulness of microbial models in food safety assessments for products and processes, 2) illustrate some of the limitations of using microbial models “off the shelf” and provide improvement strategies, 3) provide guidelines for appropriately using microbial models, and 4) examine areas of microbial modeling that need further research.


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