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September 2017
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Work Package 2

Apply validated pathogen growth models to assess risk of specific meat products upon consumption

Leader : P5
Partners Responsible: P1  P3  P4  P5  P6  P7 

Objectives

The Objectives of this Workpackage are:
  • To combine validated pathogen growth models with data on prevalence/concentration, dose response and chill chain conditions and assess risk of specific meat products upon consumption.

  • To use risk assessment as a tool in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the TTI-based safety assurance system (SMAS) derived from WP4 by comparing microbiological risk of the current practises with risk after introduction of SMAS.

  • To establish of a constantly updated Internet site with current information for risk assessment of meat products
Methodology And Study Materials

Sub-workpackage 2.1 : Assess risk of specific meat products

In this sub-workpackage task intensive and comprehensive data gathering complemented by surveillance studies will be performed in order to collect information about a) the initial contamination of meat raw material and the conditions of handling, storage and distribution within meat chill chain. These information will be further combined with validated predictive models for pathogens growth derived from WP1 and data on dose-response relationship from the epedimiological state of art and the microbiological risk of a number of different meat products will be assessed.

Task 2.1.1: Collect and evaluate data on prevalence and concentration of pathogenic bacteria (Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella and Escherichia coli) on meat products. Collect data on meat chill chain conditions. An exhaustive collection of existing data will be complemented by analysis of a representative number of meat raw material samples (beef, pork, lamb) for the determination, identification and enumeration of Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella and Escherichia coli. The main output will be a number of prevalence and concentration distributions referring to different pathogens (Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella and Escherichia coli) and meat raw material (beef, pork, lamb) which will be further used to assess microbiological risk of a variety of meat products.

Also a database on the meat chill chain conditions will be built based on available data and data generated by data collection through monitoring with electronic data loggers of time and temperature during storage in the industry, transportation, storage in the retail cabinet and storage in consumers refrigerators.

Task 2.1.2: Assess risk of specific meat products. Compare current practices with a TTI-based safety assurance system (SMAS): In this task quantitative risk assessment studies will be performed for Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella and Escherichia coli in fresh whole meat (beef, pork, lamb) cuts, ground meat (beef, pork, lamp) and ready to cook chilled meat (beef, pork) products stored under aerobic, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and vacuum packaging (VP) conditions. Data on prevalence and concentration and meat chill chain conditions will be combined with validated predictive models from WP1 and dose-response from state of art epidimiological data. A probabilistic approach will be used to assess risk of meat products at the time of consumption. An accurate estimation of risk of specific meat products that correctly reflects the uncertainty and variability in the model for the data used will be obtained. Risk of meat products at the time of consumption will be also used as an index for the evaluation of the efficacy of the TTI-based safety assurance system (SMAS) developed in WP4.

Sub-workpackage 2.2 : Establish an Internet site with information about Risk Assessment of specific meat products

In this sub-workpackage the data and models used in Task 2.1 for the risk assessment of meat products together with other current information related to this topic (i.e validated mathematical models for pathogen growth, data for pathogen prevalence and concentration, distribution temperature profiles, dose response data, inactivation models and consumption patterns) will be collected and included in an Internet site. The aim is to establish a Meat Microbial Risk Assessment Site, constantly updated in order to disseminate information from the project to all interested parties. These include the scientific community, meat industry, regulators, inspection authorities but will also target non-specialist laboratories, SME’s and consumers.


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EC FIFTH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME - Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources - Project QLK1-2002-02545