Project description (completed research project)
The enterotoxins produced by staphylococci are among the primary causes of food poisoning worldwide. In most patients, the illness is limited to temporary symptoms such as sickness and diarrhoea. However, such poisoning can be life-threatening for children and the elderly. Very little research has been done into the production and storage conditions that promote or inhibit the formation of enterotoxins in food. This project aims to fill this gap.
The primary objective of the project is to improve risk assessment of food poisoning cases that are caused by Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB). This will help to increase consumer safety while also reducing the amount of food that is thrown away. In the first stage, the effects of a range of influencing factors in the formation of enterotoxin B will be investigated. The study will take account of conditions of food production and storage, such as high concentrations of table salt, pickling salt, sugar and lactic acid. In the second stage, the processes that have an influence in the formation of enterotoxin B in the aforementioned environmental conditions will be investigated.
The study will play a key role in helping to reduce the risk of Staphylococcus-induced food poisoning. In investigating the production and storage conditions that favour or inhibit the formation of enterotoxin B in food, the project will provide valuable information that can be used as a basis for modifying production processes. This will increase safety for consumers while also reducing production waste.
Minimizing the risk of staphylococcal food poisoning while reducing food waste: evaluation of enterotoxin B expression under stress relevant to food production and preservation