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Development of a dynamic growth-death model for Escherichia coli O157:H7 in minimally processed leafy green vegetables

McKellar, R.C., Delaquis, P. (2011). Development of a dynamic growth-death model for Escherichia coli O157:H7 in minimally processed leafy green vegetables, 151(1), 7-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2011.07.027

Abstract

Escherichia coli O157:H7, an occasional contaminant of fresh produce, can present a serious health risk in minimally processed leafy green vegetables. A good predictive model is needed for Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) purposes, which adequately describes the growth or die-off of this pathogen under variable temperature conditions experienced during processing, storage and shipping. Literature data on behaviour of this pathogen on fresh-cut lettuce and spinach was taken from published graphs by digitization, published tables or from personal communications. A three-phase growth function was fitted to the data from 13 studies, and a square root model for growth rate (μ) as a function of temperature was derived: μ=(0.023*(Temperature-1.20)) 2. Variability in the published data was incorporated into the growth model by the use of weighted regression and the 95% prediction limits. A log-linear die-off function was fitted to the data from 13 studies, and the resulting rate constants were fitted to a shifted lognormal distribution (Mean: 0.013; Standard Deviation, 0.010; Shift, 0.001). The combined growth-death model successfully predicted pathogen behaviour under both isothermal and non-isothermal conditions when compared to new published data. By incorporating variability, the resulting model is an improvement over existing ones, and is suitable for QRA applications. © 2011.

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