Time and temperature control is crucial to avoid growth of pathogens during production and serving of cold ready-to-eat meals. The Danish guidelines state that chilled foods, such as sandwiches, should not be outside the cold chain for more than 3 hours including the time for preparation and serving. However, Danish sandwich producing companies find it challenging to comply with this and have expressed a need for more flexibility. The Danish guidelines do allow for a prolongation of the acceptable time outside the cold chain, if the safety of the specific production can be documented. There is, therefore, room for developing targeted tools for evaluating the time-temperature scenarios in sandwich production. This study describes a decision support tool developed to offer the producers more flexibility. Based on time/temperature measurements obtained during preparation combined with information on the prehistory of ingredients and the expected time/temperature conditions of distribution and serving, the potential growth of Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella and psychrotrophic Clostridium botulinum in the sandwiches is predicted. Applying the lag times of these pathogens as the critical limit, the tool determines if the sandwich production is safe by evaluating whether any of the lag times have been exceeded during the total preparation, distribution, and serving time. The growth models employed were built as part of the study using a “worst case” ingredient.
|Title of host publication||The Danish Microbiological Society Annual Congress 2014 : program & Abstracts|
|Place of Publication||Copenhagen|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
|Event||The Danish Microbiological Society Annual Congress 2014 - Eigtved's Pakhus, Copenhagen, Denmark|
Duration: 10 Nov 2014 → …
|Conference||The Danish Microbiological Society Annual Congress 2014|
|Period||10/11/2014 → …|