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Influence of Growth Temperature on Inactivation and Injury of Escherichia coli O157:H7 by Heat, Acid, and Freezing

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The influence of growth temperature on heat- , lactic acid- , and freeze-induced inactivation and injury of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in 0.1% peptone water was investigated. Three strains of E. coli O157:H7 isolated respectively from salami, apple cider, and ground beef were evaluated. Growth of strains at 10°C compared with growth at 37°C had a significant impact on reducing (P < 0.01) D values obtained for heating (DH value), acid exposure (DA value), and freezing (DF value), with the exception of the cider strain stored in lactic acid solutions. When strains were cultivated at 10 and 37°C and heated at 54 and 56°C, the salami strain possessed the highest (P < 0.01) DH values (5.9 to 59.7 min). When grown at 10°C, the beef strain had the lowest (P < 0.0 1) DH values after heating at 52, 54, and 56°C (11.2, 4.1, and 2.5 min, respectively). The salami strain grown at 10°C had the highest (P < 0.01) DA values in all concentrations of lactic acid. When grown at 37°C, the salami strain had the highest (P < 0.01) DA values after storage in 0.1 and 0.25% lactic acid, while DA values for the salami and beef strains did not differ (P > 0.05) when stored in 0.5% lactic acid. Portions of strain populations were sublethally injured by heat and lactic acid treatments, as evidenced by the inability of injured organisms to form colonies on tryptone soya agar containing 2% NaCl. Strains cultured at 10°C were more susceptible to sublethal heat injury than strains cultured at 37°C. Storage of test strains at −20°C for 7 months resulted in a 4- to 6-1og CFU/ml reduction in viable population, but induced only minimal sublethal injury. After 5 months at −20°C, strains cultured at 10°C were more sensitive to freeze inactivation than strains cultured at 37°C. When grown at 10 and 37°e and stored at −20°C for 7 months, the cider strain possessed higher (P < 0.01) DF values than the beef and salami strains.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station, Department of Food Science and Technology, P.O. Box 1071, Knoxville, Tennessee 37901-1071, USA

Publication date: April 1, 1998

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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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