Appendix 4: Bacterial Pathogen Growth and Inactivation

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March 18, 2020

This appendix contains information on the growth and inactivation of bacterial pathogens.

Table A-1 contains information on the minimum water activity (aw), acidity (pH), and temperature; the maximum, pH, water phase salt, and temperature; and oxygen requirements that will sustain growth for the bacterial pathogens that are of greatest concern in seafood processing. Data shown are the minimum or maximum values, the extreme limits reported among the references cited. These values may not apply to your processing conditions.

Table A-2 contains information on maximum, cumulative time and internal temperature combinations for exposure of fish and fishery products that, under ordinary circumstances, will be safe for the bacterial pathogens that are of greatest concern in seafood processing. These maximum, cumulative exposure times are derived from published scientific information. Because the nature of bacterial growth is logarithmic, linear interpolation using the time and temperature guidance may not be appropriate. Furthermore, the food matrix effects bacterial growth (e.g., presence of competing microorganisms, available nutrients, growth restrictive agents). Consideration of such attributes is needed when using the information in Tables A-1 and A-2.
In summary, Table A-2 indicates that: For raw, ready-to-eat products:

• If at any time the product is held at internal temperatures above 70°F (21.1°C), exposure time (i.e., time at internal temperatures
above 50°F (10°C) but below 135ºF (57.2ºC)) should be limited to 2 hours (3 hours if Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is the only pathogen of concern), OR Alternatively, exposure time (i.e., time at internal temperatures above 50°F (10°C) but below 135ºF (57.2ºC)) should be limited to 4 hours, as long as no more than 2 of those hours are between 70°F (21.1°C) and 135ºF (57.2ºC); OR

• If at any time the product is held at internal temperatures above 50°F (10°C) but never above 70°F (21.1°C), exposure time at internal temperatures above 50°F (10°C) should be limited to 5 hours (12 hours if S. aureus is the only pathogen of concern); OR

• The product is held at internal temperatures below 50°F (10°C) throughout processing, OR Alternatively, the product is held at ambient air temperatures below 50°F (10°C) throughout processing.

 

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Tags: unsafe food production

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