A procedure is presented to quantitatively estimate the growth of a particular organism in a food product during chilled storage using predictive microbiology. This results in a quantification of the contribution of every individual process step to the total number of organisms, which may be a useful tool to support decisions on existing process lines as well as in process and product design. It is demonstrated that predictive microbiology will only estimate to within orders of magnitude of bacterial growth. This helps to pinpoint the most important aspects of a line. The calculations can be helpful to set critical limits and to detect hazards by performing 'what if' analyses. The procedure is explained for the growth of Bacillus cereus in milk. It is indicated, that with the current information, the effect of time/temperature can be estimated. However, to make an accurate exposure analysis, more information will be needed.