Monte Carlo analysis of the product handling and high-pressure treatment effects on the Vibrio vulnificus risk to raw oysters consumers
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A Monte Carlo procedure considering the variability in oyster handling from harvest to raw consumption estimated reductions in the number of Vibrio vulnificus induced septicemia cases achieved by high-pressure processing (HPP). The calculations yielded pathogen load distributions in raw oysters from harvest to consumption. In the warm season, 2-6 min treatments at 250 MPa and 1 °C would lower the predicted number of septicemia cases associated with raw oyster consumption from 4932 to less than four per 100 million consumption events (95% confidence). This study highlighted that HPP conditions should be selected according to the seasonal pathogen load and environment temperature. Finally, the procedure emphasized that the variability in the V. vulnificus population at harvest, before and after HPP treatments, reflecting in part the microbiological quantification methods used, significantly affected the estimated number of septicemia cases. Therefore, improving microbiological quantification should provide better predictions of the number of septicemia cases. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.