Bacterial Contaminants of Poultry Meat: Sources, Species, and Dynamics
Clostridium perfringens type A is a significant public health threat and its spores may germinate, outgrow, and multiply during cooling of cooked meats. This study applies a new C. perfringens growth model in the USDA Integrated Pathogen Modeling Program-Dynamic Prediction (IPMP Dynamic Prediction) Dynamic Prediction to predict the growth from spores of C. perfringens in cooked uncured meat and poultry products using isothermal, dynamic heating, and cooling data reported in the literature. The residual errors of predictions (observation-prediction) are analyzed, and the root-mean-square error (RMSE) calculated. For isothermal and heating profiles, each data point in growth curves is compared. The mean residual errors (MRE) of predictions range from -0.40 to 0.02 Log colony forming units (CFU)/g, with a RMSE of approximately 0.6 Log CFU/g. For cooling, the end point predictions are conservative in nature, with an MRE of -1.16 Log CFU/g for single-rate cooling and -0.66 Log CFU/g for dual-rate cooling. The RMSE is between 0.6 and 0.7 Log CFU/g. Compared with other models reported in the literature, this model makes more accurate and fail-safe predictions. For cooling, the percentage for accurate and fail-safe predictions is between 97.6% and 100%. Under criterion 1, the percentage of accurate predictions is 47.5% for single-rate cooling and 66.7% for dual-rate cooling, while the fail-dangerous predictions are between 0% and 2.4%. This study demonstrates that IPMP Dynamic Prediction can be used by food processors and regulatory agencies as a tool to predict the growth of C. perfringens in uncured cooked meats and evaluate the safety of cooked or heat-treated uncured meat and poultry products exposed to cooling deviations or to develop customized cooling schedules. This study also demonstrates the need for more accurate data collection during cooling.