This book provides an understanding of the microbial challenges to the safety of low aw foods, and a historic backdrop to the paradigm shift now highlighting low aw foods as vehicles for foodborne pathogens. Up-to-date facts and figures of foodborne illness outbreaks and product recalls are included. Special attention is given to the uncanny ability of Salmonella to persist under dry conditions in food processing plants and foods. A section is dedicated specifically to processing plant investigations, providing practical approaches to determining sources of persistent bacterial strains in the industrial food processing environment. Readers are guided through dry cleaning, wet cleaning and alternatives to processing plant hygiene and sanitation. Separate chapters are devoted to low aw food commodities of interest including spices, dried dairy-based products, low aw meat products, dried ready-to-eat cereal products, powdered infant formula, nuts and nut pastes, flours and meals, chocolate and confectionary, dried teas and herbs, and pet foods. The book provides regulatory testing guidelines and recommendations as well as guidance through methodological and sampling challenges to testing spices and low aw foods for the presence of foodborne pathogens. Chapters also address decontamination processes for low aw foods, including heat, steam, irradiation, microwave, and alternative energy-based treatments.
Joshua B. Gurtler, USDA Research Scientist, Phoenixville, PA
Michael P. Doyle, Regents Professor of Food Microbiology, Director, Center for Food Safety, Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, Griffin, GA
Jeffrey L. Kornacki, President and Senior Technical Director, Kornacki Microbiology Solutions, Inc., Madison, WI
Industrial food safety professionals find themselves responsible for locating and eliminating the source(s) of food contamination. These are often complex situations for which they have not been adequately prepared. This book is written with them, the in-plant food safety/quality assurance professional, in mind. However, other professionals will also benefit including plant managers, regulatory field investigators, technical food safety policy makers, college instructors, and students of food science and microbiology.
A survey of the personal and societal costs of microbial contamination of food is followed by a wide range of respected authors who describe selected bacterial pathogens, emerging pathogens, spoilage organisms and their significance to the industry and consumer. Dr. Kornacki then provides real life examples of in-plant risk areas / practices (depicted with photographs taken from a wide variety of food processing facilities). Factors influencing microbial growth, survival and death area also described. The reader will find herein a practical framework for troubleshooting and for assessing the potential for product contamination in their own facilities, as well as suggestions for conducting their own in-plant investigations. Selected tools for testing the environment and statistical approaches to testing ingredients and finished product are also described. The book provides suggestions for starting up after a processing line (or lines) have been shut down due to a contamination risk. The authors conclude with an overview of molecular subtyping and its value with regard to in-plant investigations.
Numerous nationally recognized authors in the field have contributed to the book. The editor, Dr. Jeffery L. Kornacki, is President and Senior Technical Director of the consulting firm, Kornacki Microbiology Solutions in Madison, Wisconsin. He is also Adjunct Faculty with the Department of Food Science at the University of Georgia and also with the National Food Safety & Toxicology Center at Michigan State University.