Submitted to: CRC Press
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: August 10, 2002
Publication Date: August 8, 2003
Citation: Juneja, V.K. 2003. Sous-vide processed foods: safety hazards and control of microbial risks. Novak, J., Sapers, G., Juneja, V. editors. CRC Press. Microbial Safety of Minimally Processed Fods. Chapter 5. p. 97-124. Technical Abstract: Concerns have been expressed about the public-health risks associated with sous-vide processed foods because the mild heat treatment applied to such foods to retain the organoleptic attributes may not be adequate to ensure proper destruction of pathogenic and spoilage organisms. The safety of sous-vide processed foods cannot rely on only a single "chilled storage" factor. Research has assessed and quantified the combination of hurdles to decrease the heat processing requirements and control subsequent germination of surviving spores during storage. Hurdle technology has enormous potential to improve the margin of safety of sous-vide foods. Further research employing complex multifactorial experiments and analyses to define and quantify the effects and interactions of intrinsic and extrinsic factors and development of "enhanced" predictive models is needed. In addition, quantitative risk assessment models based on product composition/formulation, processing and storage must be developed. These models should be validated by appropriate challenge studies to ensure safety. Finally, use of a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point approach, Good Manufacturing Practices, consumer education, and use of time-temperature indicators are advocated to ensure the safety of sous-vide products.