FAT TOM mnemonic - (57 C), a range referred to the...

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FAT TOM is a mnemonic device that is used in the food service industry to describe the six favorable conditions required for the growth of foodborne pathogens . It is an acronym for food, acidity, time, temperature, oxygen and moisture . Conditions Each of the six conditions that foster the growth foodborne pathogens are defined in a set ranges: [1] F Food There are sufficient nutrients available that promote the growth of microorganisms. Protein-rich foods, such as meat, milk, eggs and fish are most susceptible. A Acidity Foodborne pathogens require a slightly acidic pH level of 4.6-7.5, while they thrive in conditions with a pH of 6.6-7.5. FDA regulations for acid/acidified foods require that the food be brought to pH 4.5 or below. T Time Food should be removed from "the danger zone" (see below) within two hours, either by cooling or heating. While most guidelines state two hours, a few indicate four hours is still safe. T Temperature Foodborne pathogens grow best in temperatures between 41 °F (5 °C) to 135 °F
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Unformatted text preview: (57 C), a range referred to the temperature danger zone (TDZ). They thrive in temperatures that are between 70 F (21 C) to 120 F (49 C). O Oxygen Almost all foodborne pathogens are aerobic , that is requiring oxygen to grow. Some pathogens, such as clostridium botulinum , the source of botulism , are anaerobic and do not require oxygen to grow. In fact, their growth is usually favored by lack of oxygen and inhibited by its presence. M Moisture Water is essential for the growth foodborne pathogens, water activity (w a ) is a measure of the water available for use and is measured on a scale of 0 to 1.0. Foodborne pathogens grow best in foods that have a w a between 1.0 and 0.86. FDA regulations for canned foods require w a of 0.85 or below. At water activities below 0.7, all microbial growth in foods is inhibited....
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This note was uploaded on 02/16/2010 for the course NS 3450 at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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