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Heat-Pasteurization Process for Inactivation of Nonproteolytic Types of Clostridium botulinum in Picked Dungeness Crabmeat

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Development of a heat-pasteurization process is described for picked meat of Dungeness crabs (Cancer magister) contained in oxygen-impermeable flexible pouches. For each time-temperature treatment, 30 samples, each inoculated with an equal mixture of three strains of C. botulinum nonproteolytic type B, for a total of 107 spores, provided the basis for calculation of the thermal resistance (a 7D process). Following heat processing, the crabmeat was removed from the pouches and transferred to enrichment medium where it was incubated anaerobically for 150 days. Endpoints at which spores survived were determined by the presence of toxin in the enrichment medium. Process times ranged from 90 min at 88.9°C to 20.3 min at 94.4°C. D values (the time at each temperature required to reduce the inoculum by 1 log) ranged from 12.9 for the 88.9°C process to 2.9 for the 94.4°C process. The relative sterilization value, Fo was .054 and the pasteurization value, F 16 185, was 240. This pasteurization process safely extends refrigerated shelf life by inactivating spores of Clostridium botulinum nonproteolytic types B, E, and F and also non-spore-forming pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes. The process does not, however, inactivate the heat-resistant proteolytic strains of C. botulinum or other more heat-resistant spore-formers. The packages and master cartons of the pasteurized product, therefore, should be labeled "Keep refrigerated—Continuous refrigeration below 38°F (3.3°C) required."


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Utilization Research Division, 2725 Montlake Boulevard East, Seattle, Washington 98112, USA 2: Institute for Food Science and Technology, School of Fisheries, University of Washington, 3707 Brooklyn Ave. N.E., Seattle, Washington 98105, USA

Publication date: August 1, 1997

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