Salmonella in cocoa make it a sensitive ingredient. When contaminated, the numbers of salmonellae are usually low, less than 1/g.
Organisms capable of surviving the processes used in chocolate manufacture belong primarily to the genus Bacillus. It is known that Salmonella may survive for many months in chocolate.
Additionally salmonella is protected by the fat in chocolate against the acidity of gastric juice and consequently relatively lower levels of Salmonella may cause salmonellosis.
The key to low spore counts in chocolate appears to be the quality of the cocoa bean.
Sources of Salmonella in chocolate have been tracked back to cocoa and milk powder.
Salmonella contamination potential also may be linked to various components of processing from cross-contamination between raw and roasted beans, environmental cross –contamination from inadequate segregation between clean and unclean process zones.
Another important factor that increase the risk of salmonellosis associated with chocolate products is the apparent low infectious dose.
It is evident from a number of outbreaks that very low levels of Salmonella present in chocolate are capable of causing illness.
Salmonella in chocolate