Clostridium botulinum - Articles and news items

J & K Smokery Ltd recalls vacuum packed smoked fish because of concerns over Clostridium botulinum controls

Industry news  •  15 July 2015  •  Victoria White

J & K Smokery Ltd has recalled all packs of its vacuum packed smoked fish because of concerns about procedures to control Clostridium botulinum…

Botulism’s genetic triggers found

Industry news  •  12 September 2014  •  The Institute of Food Research

Clostridium botulinum bacteria produce the most deadly toxin we know of…

Thermal processing in the food industry

Issue 2 2012  •  30 April 2012  •  Matteo Campagnoli, Research Manager, Barilla G&R Fratelli

Nowadays in the food industry, there are innovative technologies with some very interesting applications on an industrial scale and finished products on the market. In spite of this, heat remains the main process used to preserve foods. The aim of this article is to give an overview of the main thermal processes, how they relate to food safety and also to consider the management and the validation of a thermal process.

The main food safety concern related to ambient stable heat treated foods is Clostridium botulinum. Table 1 gives the most reported recent cases of product recalls due to potential contamination from C. botulinum and outbreaks caused by this microorganism. This microorganism is a spore former, highly heat resistant, grows at pH equal or higher than 4.5 and is strictly anaerobic. Therefore, if these microorganisms survive in retorted foods, and the conditions are favourable for growth, they could potentially grow in areas with an absence of oxygen. Once C. botulinum spores germinate, if they are able to generate vegetative cells and these are able to grow, they can produce lethal neurotoxins.

Due to this potential impact on food safety, C. botulinum was studied and a tailored thermal process was designed known as the ‘Botulinum Cook’. The ‘Botulinum Cook’ equals 121.1°C for three minutes, or an equivalent process.

Recent applied research in baking at Campden BRI

Issue 4 2009  •  12 December 2009  •  Gary Tucker, Head of Bakery & Cereal Processing Department, Campden BRI

At Campden BRI, the Department of Baking & Cereal Processing aims to combine science and technology in order to provide technical support for the international baking and cereal processing industries. The success of the Department is based on a broad, practical experience of cereal and bakery technologies that enables it to help customers resolve ingredient and processing problems, and to measure ingredient and product quality.

Detecting bacterial spores in soup manufacturing

Issue 3 2009  •  10 September 2009  •  A.C.M van Zuijlen & S.J.C.M Oomes, Unilever R&D; P. Vos, Check-Points B.V. and S. Brul, University of Amsterdam

Spores from mesophilic aerobic sporeforming bacteria (Bacillus) are sometimes able to survive the thermal process of commercial sterile products and sporadically cause spoilage or food poisoning. Because of an increasing demand for more fresh products, ideally the processing temperatures should be tailored to inactivate the actual spore load rather than applying worst case scenarios. In doing that, unnecessary loss of product quality can be prevented without running the risk that the product will spoil or cause safety issues.


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