Spoilage microorganisms are microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi that can cause food spoilage by entering the human or animal digestive system, in some cases leading to foodborne diseases. They do so by entering the food production process and final product via raw materials, manufacturing environment or personnel involved in the process.

Food spoilage by microorganisms depends on several factors, such as the temperature, pH, humidity and nutrient availability. In cases of foodborne diseases, spoilage microorganisms must produce specific toxins such as lichenysin or cereulide for example, in order to cause the disease.

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