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Quantitative Risk Assessment for Hazards that Arise from Non Proteolytic C. Botulinum in Dairy-Based Desserts: Custard


Spores of non proteolytic C. botulinum can sometimes be found in unprocessed food materials or in food manufacturing environments. Contamination of food with C. botulinum is potentially very dangerous so that quantitative assessments of the hazards provide important tools that assist with risk management. For minimally processed foods, such as deserts, assessment of the hazards from non proteolytic C. botulinum involve the estimation of the spore loads in a wide range of ingredients, quantification of the hurdles (such as thermal treatments) that are included in the manufacturing process and evaluation of microbial responses during subsequent periods of food storage etc. <P>
This project will build quantitative risk assessment for hazards arising from non proteolytic C. botulinum. The project will concern a small set of specific dairy based custard products. In particular the project will include assessments for custard products with or without egg, and with or without alcohol, as significant additional components. The assessments will implement a knowledge base as a domain structure and will be constructed with a modular design in order to highlight opportunities for development. The assessments will concentrate on the risk of toxicity for a single retail unit as the major endpoint of concern. <P>
Numerical models will be built using specialist software tools and results will include an explicit expression of uncertainties.

Institute of Food Research, UK
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