With growing consumer demand for ready-to-eat (RTE) foods that are wholesome and require less handling and preparation, the production of RTE foods has increased and their variety has expanded considerably, spanning from bagged spinach to pre-packaged school lunches. But since RTE foods are normally consumed directly without cooking — a step that kills pathogenic microorganisms that may be present in the food products — concerns exist with regard to their safety.
Several severe and high-profile outbreaks of food-borne illness linked to the consumption of RTE foods have prompted the USDA and FDA to issue stringent rules and regulations governing the manufacturing of RTE foods. Ready-to-Eat Foods: Microbial Concerns and Control Measures comprehensively reviews individual common RTE food and their specific safety-related aspects. This text explores the extensive research conducted by the food industry, academia, and research institutes that examines the potential health risk of contaminated RTE foods, investigates the growth behavior of common contaminating foodborne pathogens, and develops intervention technologies and control measures.
The book supplies an overview of food safety of RTE foods and various categories into which they fall. It also addresses the microorganisms of concern, the effect of processing on the survival of pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms, food safety, practical control measures, and intervention strategies. Ready-to-Eat Foods: Microbial Concerns and Control Measures is a critical reference for scientists and professionals working on the forefront of food safety and RTE food manufacturing.