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J Food Prot. 1998 Sep;61(9):1154-60.

Conservative prediction of time to Clostridium botulinum toxin formation for use with time-temperature indicators to ensure the safety of foods.

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National Center for Food Safety and Technology/Food and Drug Administration, Division of Food Processing and Packaging, Summit-Argo, Illinois 60501, USA.


Integrating-type time-temperature indicators (TTIs) may be utilized to warn food processors and consumers about storage conditions that may have rendered a food potentially hazardous. As an example of how integrated TTIs could be manufactured to emulate an infinite set of time-temperature situations, a set of conditions which have supported C. botulinum growth and toxin production was compiled. The time-temperature curve representing conservative times required for toxin formation was constructed with data from literature relating to toxin formation as a function of temperature in any media or food product. This set of critical time-temperature data is fit by a conservative empirical relationship that can be used to predict combinations of incubation times and storage temperatures that represent a potential health risk from C. botulinum in foods. A TTI could be constructed to indicate deviation from such a given set of conditions to bring attention to foods that may have been exposed to potentially hazardous temperatures with respect to C. botulinum toxin formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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