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Open AccessArticle

Microbial Risk Assessment of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Beef Imported from the United States of America to Taiwan

1
Institute of Food Science and Technology, National Taiwan University, Taipei City 10617, Taiwan
2
Department of Food Science, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung City 20224, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2020, 8(5), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8050676
Received: 19 March 2020 / Revised: 26 April 2020 / Accepted: 27 April 2020 / Published: 6 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Food Microbiology)
Outbreaks of foodborne illness caused by pathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7, which are attributable to the consumption of undercooked beef, have occurred in many countries. In Taiwan, the production of domestic beef accounts for only 5% of the total amount of beef sold. Therefore, we applied different contextual assumptions to develop a quantitative microbial risk assessment of E. coli O157:H7 and evaluated the risk of illness in the Taiwanese population consuming beef imported from the United States of America. The probability distribution showed that, in males aged 19–65 years in the Taiwanese population, for example, when rare beef was consumed 100 servings, there was a 90% probability of randomly intaking seven colony forming units of E. coli O157:H7. When medium beef was consumed 10,000 servings, there was a 90% probability of randomly intaking two colony forming units of E. coli O157:H7. When the exceedance risk was 5%, the rate of foodborne illnesses caused by consuming rare beef contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 was 10–28 cases per 1 million individuals. For medium beef, this rate was 6–13 per 100 million individuals. Sensitivity analyses indicated that the amount of E. coli O157:H7 remaining in beef products after cooking was the most important risk factor, followed by the amount of beef products consumed. Proper cooking of imported beef consumed by the Taiwanese public reduces the incidence of foodborne disease to almost zero, without risk of harm to health. View Full-Text
Keywords: Escherichia coli O157:H7; imported beef; health risk assessment Escherichia coli O157:H7; imported beef; health risk assessment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lien, K.-W.; Yang, M.-X.; Ling, M.-P. Microbial Risk Assessment of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Beef Imported from the United States of America to Taiwan. Microorganisms 2020, 8, 676.

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