CategoryPre-Harvest Pork Safety
Date Full Report Received12/04/2007
Date Abstract Report Received01/15/2009
Funded ByNational Pork Board
The purpose of this research was to develop a retail-to-table risk assessment to evaluate the likelihood of developing salmonellosis from consumption of a serving of enhanced or un-enhanced pork chops (bone-in) and roasts (boneless) cooked to end point temperatures of 145 – 160º F. With guidance received from USDA-FSIS, that Salmonella is the target organism of choice for cooking standards for fresh pork, and after NPB concurrence, Exponent did not consider Campylobacter in this risk assessment. Salmonella exposure was estimated using a statistical method that repeatedly (10,000 times) picked data points from distributions including: Salmonella levels in retail pork; Salmonella growth during home transport and storage; and Salmonella levels after cooking and at consumption. The report describes all databases and the rationale and approach for their use. Risk was characterized as risk of illness per serving. No Salmonella survived cooking to 160°F or to 145, 150 and 155° F in 99% of the simulations. However, following USDA’s recommendation, a low illness risk was estimated at extreme abuse conditions (high storage and transport temperature and long storage times) at temperatures below 160°F for some cuts. Potential error and uncertainty sources of the model are described. Currently, USDA recommends consumers to cook pork to160-170°F. However, FDA’s institutional and retail establishment guidance permits 145°F. This study shows that pork cooked to 145 ºF for 15 seconds does not increase salmonellosis risk, if good pre-cooking handling practices are used. Further, a greater safety margin is achieved for products cooked to Food Code recommendations.