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      Presence and significance of Bacillus cereus in dehydrated potato products.

      Journal of food protection

      Bacillus cereus, growth & development, isolation & purification, Colony Count, Microbial, Consumer Product Safety, Enterotoxins, biosynthesis, Food Contamination, analysis, Food Handling, methods, Food Microbiology, Humans, Prevalence, Risk Assessment, Solanum tuberosum, microbiology, Spores, Bacterial, Time Factors, Temperature

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          Dehydrated potato contains Bacillus cereus at a prevalences of 10 to 40% and at numbers usually less than 10(3) CFU g(-1). B. cereus in dehydrated potato is likely to be present as spores that are able to survive drying of the raw vegetable and may represent a significant inoculum in the reconstituted (rehydrated) product where conditions favor germination of, and outgrowth from, spores. Holding rehydrated mashed potato alone, or as part of another product (e.g., potato-topped pie), at temperatures above 10 degrees C and below 60 degrees C may allow growth of vegetative B. cereus. Levels exceeding 10(4) CFU g(-1) are considered hazardous to human health and may be reached within a few hours if stored inappropriately between these temperatures. Foods incorporating mashed potato prepared from dehydrated potato flakes have been implicated in B. cereus foodborne illness. This review is a summary of the information available concerning the prevalence and numbers of B. cereus in dehydrated potato flakes and the rate at which growth might occur in the rehydrated product.

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