Quantitative microbial risk assessment for Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus enterotoxin a in raw milk

Joelle C. Heidinger, Carl K. Winter, James S Cullor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


A quantitative microbial risk assessment was constructed to determine consumer risk from Staphylococcus aureus and staphylococcal enterotoxin in raw milk. A Monte Carlo simulation model was developed to assess the risk from raw milk consumption using data on levels of S. aureus in milk collected by the University of California-Davis Dairy Food Safety Laboratory from 2,336 California dairies from 2005 to 2008 and using U.S. milk consumption data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2003 and 2004. Four modules were constructed to simulate pathogen growth and staphylococcal enterotoxin A production scenarios to quantify consumer risk levels under various time and temperature storage conditions. The three growth modules predicted that S. aureus levels could surpass the 10's CFU/ml level of concern at the 99.9th or 99.99th percentile of servings and therefore may represent a potential consumer risk. Results obtained from the staphylococcal enterotoxin A production module predicted that exposure at the 99.99th percentile could represent a dose capable of eliciting staphylococcal enterotoxin intoxication in all consumer age groups. This study illustrates the utility of quantitative microbial risk assessments for identifying potential food safety issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1641-1653
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Food Protection
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology


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