Analysis of Vibrio vulnificus infection risk when consuming depurated raw oysters
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Copyright ©, International Association for Food Protection.A beta Poisson dose-response model for Vibrio vulnificus food poisoning cases leading to septicemia was used to evaluate the effect of depuration at 15°C on the estimated health risk associated with raw oyster consumption. Statistical variability sources included V. vulnificus level at harvest, time and temperature during harvest and transportation to processing plants, decimal reductions (SV) observed during experimental circulation depuration treatments, refrigerated storage time before consumption, oyster size, and number of oysters per consumption event. Although reaching nondetectable V. vulnificus levels (<30 most probable number per gram) throughout the year and a 3.52 SV were estimated not possible at the 95% confidence level, depuration for 1, 2, 3, and 4 days would reduce the warm season (June through September) risk from 2,669 cases to 558, 93, 38, and 47 cases per 100 million consumption events, respectively. At the 95% confidence level, 47 and 16 h of depuration would reduce the warm and transition season (April through May and October through November) risk, respectively, to 100 cases per 100 million consumption events, which is assumed to be an acceptable risk; 1 case per 100 million events would be the risk when consuming untreated raw oysters in the cold season (December through March).