Predictive Microbiology Information Portal: Predictive Microbiology and Bioinformatics for Food Safety and Security Research Group, Microbial Food Safety Research Unit, ERRC-ARS-USDA has developed Predictive Microbiology Information Portal (PMIP). This is a comprehensive website (www.ars.usda.gov/naa/errc/mfsru/portal) that brings together predictive models for foodborne pathogens, research data, relevant regulatory policies and guidelines and other useful food safety related links to numerous and diverse resources associated with the models. This new internet resource is invaluable to food processors—especially, to small meat and poultry processing companies. Post-Harvest Predictive Microbiology and Process Risk Models. ERRC scientists in the Microbial Food Safety (MFSRU) Research Unit, in collaboration with the food industry, the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are developing microbial models of the behavior of Listeria monocytogenes in ham and ready-to-eat foods and Escherichia coli O157:H7 in raw ground beef, including the effects of competitive microflora, strain variation and bacterial physiological history. In addition, process risk models are being designed for meat processing unit operations, including grinding, fabrication and carcass chilling.
ComBase: A Relational Database of Predictive Microbiology Information. Scientists in the MFSRU, the U.K. Institute of Food Research (IFR) and Food Safety Center, Australia are collaborating on the development of the world's largest internet-accessible database of Predictive Microbiology information.
An Expert System for the Pathogen Modeling Program (PMP). Scientists with Decisionalysis Risk Consultants, Inc and the MFSRU are developing an expert system for the PMP. This decision-support tool will bring a variety of modeling resources to PMP users and also assist with accurate and qualified interpretation of microbial models.
Multilanguage Versions of the Pathogen Modeling Program. The Pathogen Modeling Program (PMP) can be applied to a variety of food processing and handling situations that are relevant to different countries. Scientists at the East China Sea Fisheries Research Institute and Shanghai Fisheries University are collaborating with MFSRU scientists to translate the PMP into Chinese, thereby enhancing the the use and development of predictive models to better meet the needs of government and private organizations concerned with food safety.
Models of the Growth and Survival of Listeria monocytogenes in Meat Salads. Risk assessment has shown that meat salads, among other ready-to-foods, rank relatively high for illness caused by L. monocytogenes. Organic acids are useful food additives as potential barriers to L. monocytogenes growth. However there are few models that are available to food safety specialists. In this regard, Purdue University and MFSRU researchers are collaborating on the development of models for the behavior of L. monocytogenes in chicken salad as a function of pH and temperature.
Models for Thermal Inactivation of Bacillus subtilis. Bacillus subtilis produces heat- resistant spores that often pose a challenge to the efficacy of thermal processing. Researchers at Kansai University and the MFSRU are producing models for the inactivation of B. subtilis subjected to the combined stress of pH, temperature and sodium chloride. The models will be useful tools for predicting the inactivation of B. subtilis in thermal food processing systems.
Models of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes in Sausage Products. Microbial models are needed to predict the behavior of E. coli O157:H7 in dry and semi-dry fermented sausage products, and for L. monocytogenes in cooked frankfurters. Researchers in the MFSRU are archiving experimental data sets in ComBase towards the development of survival/inactivation models.
Scientists at the Universidad de La Sabana (Bogotá, Colombia) are working to isolate, characterize and model the growth of at least two lactic acid bacteria, obtained from a traditional fermented milk of the northern coast of Colombia named “Suero Costeño”. This project was proposed by the Agroindustrial Processes research group from the University of la Sabana, and is sponsored by COLCIENCIAS (Instituto Colombiano para el Desarrollo de la Ciencia y La Tecnología “Francisco José de Caldas – Colombian Institute for the Development of Science and Technology “Francisco Jose de Caldas”).