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Factors predetermining quality and safety of frozen food products along with different types of standards are discussed. Attention is drawn to the fact that microbiological standards for frozen foods must be studied thoroughly prior to establishment. Certain standards of communities have been enacted with haste and regulations involving Standard Plate Counts (SPC) impossible to meet have been promulgated. In order to avoid fiascoes of this nature the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) working with the Advisory Council on Microbiology (ACM) of the Association of Food and Drug Officials of the United States (AFDOUS) has been making intensive studies of foods. To date, microbiological standards have been released for frozen pot pies only. The advisory council, which is composed of persons from industry, educational institutions, and public health agencies, has been evaluating microbiological risks associated with most foods and beverages prior to decisions as to whether or not standards should be established. At present the relative risk involved in each foodstuff or beverage as a possible source of coliforms, faecal coli, faecal streptococci, Salmonella, Shigella, Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, Clostridium, molds (both as mycotoxin producers and as pathogens,) viruses and other agents involved in toxigenicity or pathogenicity are under study. The sources and methods of transmission of diseases through the agency of frozen foods and methods of evaluating and minimizing risk are clarified. The inherent inconvenience and danger of establishing microbiological standards for foods without careful evaluative techniques are explained. The impact of microbiological standards for foods upon incipient or frank spoilage is discussed.
cryogenics, frozen foods, standards, microbiology, bacteria, toxicology, pathology
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif.