What Does the Term “Fat Tom” Mean?

“Food, acidity, time, temperature, oxygen, and moisture” are abbreviated as “FAT TOM.” In the food service sector, it is used to characterise the circumstances that lead to foodborne infections.

The word “food” serves as a reminder that some goods, such meat, eggs, milk, and fish, are more likely to cause issues than others. According to the term “acidity,” bacteria thrive in environments with a pH between 6.6 and 7.5. Food is more likely to be contaminated the longer it is left out since pathogens need “time” to thrive.

When the meal is “temperatured” between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, this growth happens most fast. Oxygen has two functions. Some microbes thrive in it, and some can proliferate more successfully in an oxygen-deficient environment, such as during home canning. Finally, “wet” meals are preferred by germs.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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