Food Hygiene, Microbiology and HACCP

pp 86-149

Food spoilage

  • S. J. ForsytheAffiliated withDepartment of Life Sciences, The Nottingham Trent University
  • , P. R. HayesAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, The University of Leeds

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Spoilage of food involves any change which renders food unacceptable for human consumption and may result from a variety of causes. It is often difficult to decide when a food is actually spoiled since views differ on what is and is not acceptable and fit or unfit to eat. These differences of opinion are particularly evident when viewed on a worldwide basis as can be illustrated by the following well-known example. The British prefer game meat to be ‘hung’ for several days to allow organoleptic changes to take place which encourage the development of a ‘strong’ flavour. Whilst the British consider such flavoured meat to be a delicacy other nationalities, including Americans, regard it as spoiled and unacceptable.