An online database of information on how pathogenic bacteria respond to different environmental conditions in food has been established by scientists from the US Agricultural Research Service and Britain’s Institute of Food Research.

The database, called ComBase, is designed to ease the development of risk assessments and computer models. It offers software designed to help research cooperation amongst scientists studying predictive microbiology, the prediction of microorganism behaviour in response to environmental conditions, notably food production and processing operations.

Using the database, scientists can enter data such as a microorganism, and the temperature, acidity and available water within food, and retrieve data on likely behaviour.