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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Processing Parameters Needed to Control Pathogens in Cold Smoked Fish -- Glossary

(Table of Contents)
 

Association of Food and Drug Officials, AFDO: Professional organization dedicated to the establishment and enforcement of uniform food and drug and related consumer protection laws.

 

Amines: Any of a class of basic compounds derived from ammonia by replacement of hydrogen by one or more univalent hydrocarbon radicals or other no acidic organic radicals.

 

Bacterial endotoxins: Any of a class of poisonous substances present in bacteria but separable only from the cell body on its disintegration (i.e. typhoid fever).

 

Bacteriocin: A protein (peptide) that is produced by certain strain of bacteria and which are lethal (or inhibitory) in particular against closely related strains of bacteria.

 

Biogenic amines: Amines produced by the action of living organisms or amines that are essential to life and its maintenance.

 

Botulism: The disease (intoxication) typically caused by ingestion of botulism toxin formed by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.

 

Control point: Any point, step or procedure at which biological, physical or chemical factors may be controlled.

 

Dark muscles: Red or brown pigmented muscles that lie beneath the skin in fish; dark muscle is related in some way to the activity of the fish - used for sustained activity so there is more dark muscle in very active fishes.

 

Decarboxylase: Any group of enzymes that accelerate decarboxylation, esp. of alpha-amino acids.

 

Exposure assessment: Estimate of the prevalence and levels of microbial contamination of the food product at the time of consumption and the amount of the product consumed at each meal by different categories of consumers.

 

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO: Founded in October 1945 it is the largest autonomous agency within the United Nations system with 180 Member Nations plus the European Community (Member Organization) with a mandate to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living, to improve agricultural productivity, and to better the condition of rural populations. The Organization offers direct development assistance, collects, analyses and disseminates information, provides policy and planning advice to governments and acts as an international forum for debate on food and agriculture issues.

 

Food MicroModel: A software product developed by Food MicroModel Ltd used to predict the growth, death, and survival of microorganisms in foods.

 

Generation time: The average amount of time between the appearances of two successive generations (parent and offspring).

 

Good Hygienic Practices, GHP: the basic sanitary conditions and practices that must be maintained to produce safe foods. It includes also certain support activities such as raw material selection, product labeling and coding or recall procedures. Effective application of GHP provides the foundation upon which the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point System (HACCP) is built. Major components of GHP as:

  • Design and facilities (location, premises and rooms, equipment facilities)
  • Control of operation (control of food hazards, key aspects of food hygiene control, incoming material requirements, packaging, water, management and supervision, documentation and records)
  • Maintenance and cleaning (maintenance and cleaning, cleaning programs, pest control systems, waste management, monitoring effectiveness)
  • Personal hygiene (health status, illness and injuries, personal cleanliness and behavior, visitors)
  • Transportation (general, requirements, use and maintenance)
  • Product information and consumer awareness (lot identification, product information, labeling, consumer education, handling/storage instructions)
  • Training (awareness and responsibilities, training programs, instruction and supervision, refresher training).

 

Good Manufacturing Practices, GMP: GMPs are one of the HACCP prerequisite programs. GMPs relate to all aspects food processing operations that prevent product contamination from direct or indirect sources.

 

Generally Recognized as Safe, GRAS substance: The regulatory status of food ingredients not evaluated by the FDA prescribed testing procedure because their safety has been demonstrated through a history of safe use or scientific procedures. It also includes common food ingredients that were already in use when the 1959 Food Additives Amendment to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was enacted.

 

Halophylic: Microorganism with a specific requirement for a significant level of salt (NaCl) (aw range 0.85 to 0.75).

 

Halotolerant: Microorganisms that will tolerate (survive but not grow) in an environment with moderate salt (NaCl) levels.

 

Hazard: A biological, chemical or physical agent that is reasonably likely to cause illness or injury in the absence of its control.

 

Iced fish: Fish and seafood that have been properly placed in ice for cooling and holding. "Ice is an ideal cooling medium for fresh fish. When used liberally it has several advantages over standard refrigeration methods. It rapidly removes heat from fish; holds fish at or near 32 °F (0 °C) throughout distribution; continuously flushes away bacteria, blood, and slime as it melts; and prevents dehydration."

 

Lag phase: The initial growth phase of a culture, during which cell number remains relatively constant prior to rapid growth.

 

Light muscles: The predominate muscle in most non-pelagic demersal fish; light to white in color.

 

Listeriosis: The infectious disease caused by the food-borne bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. The disease typically involves septicemia, meningoencephalitis, or abortion/stillbirth. Mortality rates for the septicemia or meningeal forms may be very high. Human listeriosis is rare and usually occurs only in immunosupressed individuals or in the fetus/neonates.

 

Logarithmic phase: The steepest slope of the growth curve of a culture--the phase of vigorous growth during which cell number doubles every 20-30 minutes.

 

Mesophylic: Microorganisms capable of growth within an intermediate temperature range, with optimal growth temperatures occurring between 30 and 45 C.

 

Non-volatile amines: amines that are not readily vaporizable at relatively low temperatures.

 

Oxydation-reduction potential, Eh (redox potential): The electrical potential associated with the oxidation or reduction of a substance, such as an element or molecule. Classification of microorganisms as, aerobic, anaerobic, or facultative is based on Eh required for multiplication and metabolism. Aerobes require positive Eh values; anaerobes require negative Eh values, facultative grow in either positive or negative Eh values.

 

Package: An enclosure designed to protect, preserve, and contain a commodity for shipment or storage.

 

Planktonic state: The state in which bacteria are suspended or grow in liquid (as opposed to the biofilm state where the bacteria are adhered to a solid surface).

 

Processing Parameters: Biological, chemical, or physical parameters that must be controlled to prevent, eliminate or reduce to an acceptable level the occurrence of a food safety hazard.

 

Psycrotroph: Microorganisms capable of growth at low (refrigeration -5 to 5 C) temperatures, although the optimal growth temperature occurs between 25 and 30 C.

 

Redox Potential: The electrical potential associated with the oxidation or reduction of a substance, such as an element or molecule.

 

Reduced Oxygen Packaging: any packaging procedure that results in a reduced oxygen level in a sealed package.

 

Ribotyping: Method to determine homologies and differences between bacteria at sub-species (strain) level. Chromosomal DNA is extracted and cut with restriction enzymes. After electrophoretic separation in an agarose gel, the DNA-bands are blotted onto a membrane and hybridized with DNA-probes.

 

Risk analysis: Widely recognized as the fundamental methodology underlying the development of food safety standards. Risk analysis is composed of three separate but integrated elements, namely risk assessment, risk management and risk communication.

 

Risk assessment: The scientific approach to determine magnitude of a risk. It involves 1) hazard identification (information about the pathogen/toxin and the food in question), 2) hazard characterization (severity and duration of disease, dose-response), 3) exposure assessment (see below ) and 4) risk characterization (combines the above information to give a complete picture of the risk). Results in a risk estimate that is an indication of the level of disease (e.g. number of cases per 100,000 per year) resulting from a given exposure.

 

Risk communication: Interactive process of exchange of information and opinion on risk among risk assessors, risk managers, and other interested parties.

 

Risk management: The process of weighing policy alternatives in the light of the results of risk assessment and, if required, selecting and implementing appropriate control options, including regulatory measures.

 

Scombroid food poisoning or scombrotoxicosis: Disease generally caused by the improper preservation of scombroid fishes, which results in certain bacteria acting on histidine in the muscle of the fish, converting it to histamine; ingestion of this histamine by humans results an allergic like reaction, or scombrotoxicosis.

 

Scombroid species: Suborder of Percomorphi that comprises active streamlined, marine fishes having a narrow caudal peduncle, scales absent or small and sometimes spiny, a usually long dorsal fin without projecting spines but sometimes with finlets, a lunate or forked caudal fin and including numerous oily-fleshed fishes (mackerels, tunas, albacores, bonitos, and swordfishes).

 

Serotype: A serologically (antigenically) distinct variety within a bacterial species.

 

Shelf-life: The time period from production of a food until it is considered in-edible by a consumer.

 

Standard Sanitation Operation Procedures: An action plan, usually written, that details procedures necessary to maintain sanitary conditions throughout a food processing facility.

 

Stationary phase: The plateau of the growth curve after log growth in a culture, during which cell number remains constant. New cells are produced at the same rate as older cells die.,

 

Synergestic effect: of or relating to synergism; cooperative action of discrete agencies (drugs, muscles) such that the total effect is greater than the sum of the two or more effects taken independently.

 

Vessel Standard Operating Procedures: Protocol or outline of steps and/or methods to be followed to ensure safe, sanitary and efficient operations. In the context of this paper it refers to producing fish and seafood products. Compare with Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP).

 

Virulence: the capacity of a pathogenic organism to cause disease - defined broadly as the severity of symptoms in the host.

 

Water activity, aw. Qualitatively, aw is a measure of unbound, free water in a system, available to support biological and chemical reactions. Water activity affects microorganisms' survival and reproduction, enzymes, and chemical reactions. The water activity of a substance is quantitatively equal to the vapor pressure of the substance divided by the vapor pressure of pure water (both measured at the same temperature).