Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 68, No. 8, 2005, Pages 1761–1775
Considerations for Establishing Safety-Based Consume-By Date
Labels for Refrigerated Ready-to-Eat Foods†
ADOPTED 27 AUGUST 2004, WASHINGTON, D.C.
NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON MICROBIOLOGICAL CRITERIA FOR FOODS
NACMCF Executive Secretariat,* U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Office of Public Health Science, Room 333
Aerospace Center, 1400 Independence Avenue S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-3700, USA
MS 05-701: Received 7 February 2005/Accepted 1 March 2005
TABLE OF CONTENTS
II. Purpose of the Document
IV. Hazard Analysis
Psychrotrophic Clostridium botulinum
V. Safety-Based Consume-By Date Labels: Approaches and Formats
VI. Questions and Answers
1. What are the scientific parameters for establishing safety-based ‘‘use-by’’ date labels for refrigerated RTE foods?
2. What effect do the multiple factors that influence the growth and survival of L. monocytogenes, i.e., strain differences,
food matrices, production and distribution systems, consumer susceptibility, etc., have on the establishment of safety-
based ‘‘use-by’’ date labels for refrigerated RTE foods?
3. What data need to be acquired to scientifically validate and verify the adequacy of a proposed safety-based ‘‘use-by’’
date label for a refrigerated RTE food?
4. Should safety-based ‘‘use-by’’ date labels for refrigerated RTE foods be established using mathematical modeling
techniques? If so, what modeling approaches are best suited to the development of labels for refrigerated RTE foods?
5. What impact would safety-based ‘‘use-by’’ date labels created for one psychrotrophic pathogen, e.g., L. monocyto-
genes, likely have on the control of other foodborne pathogens in refrigerated RTE foods?
Appendix I. Guidance for Conducting Microbial Challenge Studies of Refrigerated RTE Foods To Validate a Safety-Bas