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Fate of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Other Coliforms in Commercial Mayonnaise and Refrigerated Salad Dressing

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Abstract:

Commercial mayonnaise and refrigerated ranch salad dressing were inoculated at two levels with two strains of Escherichia coli O157:H7, a non-pathogenic E. coli, and the non-fecal coliform Enterobacter aerogenes. Results showed that at the high inoculation level (>106 colony forming units [CFU]/g) in mayonnaise stored at room temperature (ca. 22°C) both strains of O157:H7 were undetected at 96 h. At the high inoculation level, all strains of coliform bacteria tested survived longer in salad dressing stored at 4°C than in mayonnaise stored at 22°C. The O157:H7 strains were still present at low levels after 17 days. The survival time in the low-level inoculum (104 CFU/g) study decreased, but the survival pattern in the two products was similar to that observed in the high-level inoculum study. Slight differences in survival among strains were observed. The greater antimicrobial effect of mayonnaise may be attributable to differences in pH, water activity (aw), nutrients, storage temperature, and the presence of lysozyme in the whole eggs used in the production of commercial mayonnaise. Coliform bacteria survived longer in refrigerated salad dressing than in mayonnaise particularly at the high-level inoculum. Both mayonnaise (pH 3.91) and salad dressing (pH 4.51) did not support the growth of any of the microorganisms even though survival was observed.

Keywords: ACETIC ACID; COLIFORM BACTERIA; COMMERCIAL MAYONNAISE; ESCHERICHIA COLI O157:H7; PH; SALAD DRESSING

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Nalley's Fine Foods, Division of Curtis Burns Foods, 3303 South 35th. St., Tacoma, Washington 98411

Publication date: January 1, 1995

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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