Research – Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment of Listeria monocytogenes and Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli in Yogurt


Listeria monocytogenes can survive in yogurt stored at a refrigeration temperature. Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) has a strong acid resistance that can survive in the yogurt with a low pH. We estimated the risk of L. monocytogenes and EHEC due to yogurt consumption with @Risk. Predictive survival models for L. monocytogenes and EHEC in drinking and regular yogurt were developed at 4, 10, 17, 25, and 36 °C, and the survival of both pathogens in yogurt was predicted during distribution and storage at home. The average initial contamination level in drinking and regular yogurt was calculated to be −3.941 log CFU/g and −3.608 log CFU/g, respectively, and the contamination level of both LM and EHEC decreased in yogurt from the market to home. Mean values of the possibility of illness caused by EHEC were higher (drinking: 1.44 × 10−8; regular: 5.09 × 10−9) than L. monocytogenes (drinking: 1.91 × 10−15; regular: 2.87 × 10−16) in the susceptible population. Both pathogens had a positive correlation with the initial contamination level and consumption. These results show that the foodborne illness risk from L. monocytogenes and EHEC due to yogurt consumption is very low. However, controlling the initial contamination level of EHEC during yogurt manufacture should be emphasized.

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