Effect of Environmental Stress on the Ability of Listeria monocytogenes Scott A To Attach to Food Contact Surfaces

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Attachment of Listeria monocytogenes Scott A to Buna-N rubber and stainless steel under different temperature and pH conditions at the time of cell growth or at the time of attachment was investigated. All experiments were conducted using sterile phosphate buffer to avoid cell growth during exposure to the test surfaces. Numbers of attached cells increased with increasing attachment temperature (10 to 45°C) and exposure time for both test surfaces. Maximum levels of attached cells were obtained when cell growth occurred at 30°C. Downward, but not upward, shifts in the cell suspension holding temperature prior to attachment to Buna-N rubber resulted in reduced adhered cell populations. Maximum levels of adhered cells to Buna-N rubber were not affected by adjustments of the attachment medium pH between 4 and 9. However, after short contact times (i.e., less than 30 min), levels of attached cells were lower when attachment occurred under alkaline conditions. Growth pH was also found to affect the levels of adhered cell populations to Buna-N rubber. L. monocytogenes Scott A attached to stainless steel at higher levels for all temperature and pH parameters evaluated in this study.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA

Publication date: October 1, 1998

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