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Sensitivity of Listeria monocytogenes to Sanitizers after Exposure to a Chemical Shock

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We tested the hypothesis that exposure of Listeria monocytogenes to sublethal levels of sanitizers (chemical shock) could affect survival to a subsequent exposure to lethal levels and the ability of the cells to attach to stainless steel surfaces. L. monocytogenes was exposed to an acidic anionic sanitizer, a chlorine-based sanitizer, an iodophor, and a quaternary ammonium compound, as well as to citric, lactic, and propionic acids, The cells were exposed to sublethal levels of each sanitizer for up to 60 min (chemical shock), followed by exposure to either the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for 48 h, to the lethal level for 48 h, or to the MIC for 40 min followed by the lethal level for 48 h. No significant difference in survival was observed with most of the sanitizers used. However, exposure to a chemical shock with the acid anionic sanitizer for at least 10 min resulted in survival of the cells in the MIC of this sanitizer, as well as in the lethal level, but only when the cells were first exposed to the MIC for 40 min. Deliberate dissociation of citric acid by pH adjustment also resulted in survival of chemically shocked cells to lethal levels of this acid, suggesting that exposure to the dissociated form somehow enabled cells to survive exposure to lethal levels of the acid. Chemical shock did not affect attachment of the cells to stainless-steel chips.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Preventive Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA 2: Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Preventive Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA; Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, 310 Kleberg Center, College Station, TX 77843-2471

Publication date: April 1, 1996

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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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