S. Sheen


Chemical and microbiological contaminations of food during processing and preservation can result in foodborne illness outbreaks and/or poisoning. Chemical contaminations can occur through exposure of foods to illegal additives, pesticides and fertilizer residues, toxic compounds formed by chemical reactions, and are easier to control than illnesses caused by microorganisms. In general, chemical reactions in food can be described using the first-order kinetic models. Food quality factors related to nutrition, color, texture, etc. are typically affected by temperature, pH, moisture content, as well as microbial growth. However, modeling the growth and inactivation of microorganisms is much more difficult and complex than that for chemical reactions. If harmful microbes are not eliminated during processing, their survival and growth may cause spoilage and foodborne illness. Food safety intervention technologies such as microwave heating, and modified packaging were discussed, as well as issues related to cross-contamination of foods during processing. Microbial food safety can be enhanced by the development of growth and inactivation modeling tools, world-wide data sharing, and collaboration in which the Pathogen Modeling Program (PMP) and ComBase can be utilized.