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Journal of Applied Microbiology
Vol. 116, No. 5, 2014, Pages: 1344–1358

Global overview of the risk linked to the Bacillus cereus group in the egg product industry: identification of food safety and food spoilage markers

Clarisse Techer, Florence Baron, Laurence Delbrassinne, Rafik Belaïd, Nolwen Brunet, Angélique Gillard, Fabienne Gonnet, Marie-Françoise Cochet, Noël Grosset, Michel Gautier, Mirjana Andjelkovic, Valérie Lechevalier, Sophie Jan

Equipe Microbiologie de l’Œuf et des Ovoproduits (MICOV), Agrocampus Ouest, INRA, UMR1253 Science et Technologie du Lait et de l’Œuf, Rennes, France.



To evaluate the food safety and spoilage risks associated with psychrotrophic Bacillus cereus group bacteria for the egg product industry, and to search for relevant risk markers.

Methods and Results

A collection of 68 psychrotrophic B. cereus group isolates, coming from pasteurized liquid whole egg products, was analyzed through a principal component analysis (PCA) regarding their spoilage and food safety risk potentials.
The principal component analysis showed a clear differentiation between two groups within the collection, one half of the isolates representing a safety risk and the other half a spoilage risk.


Relevant risk markers were highlighted by PCA, i.e. (i) for the food safety risk, the presence of the specific 16S rDNA-1m genetic signature and the ability to grow at 43°C on solid medium; and (ii) for the spoilage risk, the presence of the cspA genetic signature.

Significance and Impact of the Study

This work represents a first step in the development of new diagnostic technologies for the assessment of the microbiological quality of foods likely to be contaminated with psychrotrophic B. cereus group bacteria.

Keywords: Bacillus cereus group; food safety; spoilage; risk markers; psychrotrophy; egg products.

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