LINKING MICROBIOLOGICAL CRITERIA FOR FOODS WITH QUANTITATIVE RISK ASSESSMENT

JOAN B. ROSE, CHARLES N. HAAS, Charles P Gerba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current annual risk of acquiring a foodborne disease in the United States is estimated at 2.7 × 10‐2. The risk of associated death is estimated at 3.7 × 10‐5. These represent a health care burden >$3 billion. Using a risk assessment model one can identify levels of microbial contamination which may be unacceptable in foods and appropriate controls needed to reduce these levels. Salmonella bacteria continue to represent a large percentage of the identifiable infections. A model developed from human dose‐response studies predicts the probability of infection for Salmonella at 7.5 × 10‐3 with exposure to a single CFU of the organism. Risks of severity (hospitalization), mortality, reactive arthritides, and mortality in the elderly are estimated at 3.1 × 10‐6, 7.5 × 10‐6, 1.7 × 10‐5, and 2.8 × 10‐4. Exposure to microbial contaminants needs to be evaluated on a single meal basis. For chicken, exposure may range from a single drum stick (38g) to a half broiler (176g) but averages around 80g. For beef between 51 and 85g may be consumed during a single meal. Therefore, methods for monitoring must be able to detect at least 1 CFU/80g. Risks for some pathogenic E. coli are estimated at 1,000 to 10,000 less than Salmonella. Therefore, use of coliforms as indicators needs to be assessed and related to occurrence and survival and regrowth potential of the enteric bacteria of greater public health concern. Because, 20% of the U.S. population may be considered to be in a special population category and at an increased risk of severe outcomes, no more than 20% failure of a standard should be acceptable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-132
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Food Safety
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Food Science
  • Microbiology

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