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A Probability Model for Enterotoxin Production of Bacillus cereus as a Function of pH and Temperature

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Bacillus cereus is frequently isolated from a variety of foods, including vegetables, dairy products, meats, and other raw and processed foods. The bacterium is capable of producing an enterotoxin and emetic toxin that can cause severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The objectives of this study were to assess and model the probability of enterotoxin production of B. cereus in a broth model as affected by the broth pH and storage temperature. A three-strain mixture of B. cereus was inoculated in tryptic soy broth adjusted to pH 5.0, 6.0, 7.2, 8.0, and 8.5, and the samples were stored at 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35°C for 24 h. A total of 25 combinations of pH and temperature, each with 10 samples, were tested. The presence of enterotoxin in broth was assayed using a commercial test kit. The probabilities of positive enterotoxin production in 25 treatments were fitted with a logistic regression to develop a probability model to describe the probability of toxin production as a function of pH and temperature. The resulting model showed that the probabilities of enterotoxin production of B. cereus in broth increased as the temperature increased and/or as the broth pH approached 7.0. The model described the experimental data satisfactorily and identified the boundary of pH and temperature for the production of enterotoxin. The model could provide information for assessing the food poisoning risk associated with enterotoxins of B. cereus and for the selection of product pH and storage temperature for foods to reduce the hazards associated with B. cereus.
Ding, Tian , Wang, Jun , Park, Myoung-Su , Hwang, Cheng-An , Oh, Deog-Hwan
Includes references
Journal of food protection 2013 Feb., v. 76, no. 2
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed