Proper temperature control is essential in minimizing Clostridium perfringens germination, growth, and toxin production. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) offers two options for the cooling of meat products: follow a standard time-temperature schedule or validate that alternative cooling regimens result in no more than a 1-log10 CFU/g increase of C. perfringens and no growth of Clostridium botulinum. A mathematical model developed by Juneja et al. (Food Microbiol. 16:335-349, 1999) may be helpful in determining if the C. perfringens performance standard has been achieved, but this model has not been extensively validated. The objective of this study was to validate the Juneja 1999 model in ground beef under a variety of changing temperature and temperature abuse situations. The Juneja 1999 model consistently underpredicted growth of C. perfringens during exponential cooling of ground beef. The model also underpredicted growth of C. perfringens in ground beef cooled at two different rates. The results presented here show generally good agreement with published data on the growth of C. perfringens in similar products. The model error may be due to faster-than-expected exponential growth rates in ground beef during cooling or an error in the mathematical formulation of the model.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology