Software Model Examines Poultry Safety Step-by-Step"
By Jill Lee
December 4, 1997
Some chicken eggs hatch, and a few of the hatchlings are infected
with Salmonella bacteria. What could be the effect on a
chicken patty consumers eat later? Its now easier to find an
answer with S-RAMP, a computer model that provides the first attempt
to simulate every step in poultry production--from farm to plate.
S-RAMP (for Salmonella Risk Assessment Modeling
Program) can also identify production and processing steps where
Salmonella control can be strengthened.
The program breaks down each stage of poultry production and looks
at three factors: contamination (presence of disease-causing
microorganisms), reduction (how effective are controls) and growth
(how quickly microorganisms take hold and grow.) Based on this
information, S-RAMP predicts the numbers of Salmonella
The new model was developed by food technologist Thomas Oscar with
the Agricultural Research Service.
Hes at ARS Microbial
Food Safety Research Unit in Princess Anne, Md.
Software that can help with tracking food-borne pathogens is
becoming more important to meat producers in the wake of USDAs
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points program. The HACCP
regulation, which began in 1996, requires all poultry processors to
identify potential contamination sites and take steps to reduce risk.
How could S-RAMP help the poultry industry meet HACCP requirements?
Say a food plant manager is considering a new treatment to control
Salmonella in cooked chicken patties. The manager could run
the model with and without the new treatment to see the effect on
Salmonella is one of the most commonly reported food-borne
pathogens in the U.S. with reported infections doubling every two
decades. The S-RAMP model will soon be adapted for Campylobacter,
another serious food-borne bacterial pathogen.
Scientific contact: Thomas Oscar, ARS
Microbial Food Safety
Research Unit, Princess Anne, Md., phone (410) 651-6062, fax
(410) 651-6568, firstname.lastname@example.org.