Psychrotrophic Clostridia Causing Spoilage in Cooked Meat and Poultry Products

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Certain types of commercially produced noncured turkey breast and roast beef are precooked in situ, stored at 4°C or below, and typically given use by dates of greater than 50 days. While of rare, sporadic occurrence, an unpleasant spoilage characterized by strong H2S odor and gas production has been observed in these products. This spoilage is due to the growth of psychrotrophic anaerobic sporeformers. Isolates from roast beef resemble Clostridium laramie while isolates from uncured turkey have been designated C. ctm for cooked turkey meat. The turkey breast isolates were characterized by temperature growth ranges, carbohydrate fermentations, and other biochemical reactions. Growth of all isolates was inhibited in broth media by 3.0% NaCl, 100 ppm nitrite, 2.0% sodium lactate, or 0.2% sodium diacetate. Inoculated studies were performed with three isolates in cooked turkey product. All three isolates grew and spoiled product at 10 and 3.3°C, and one isolate grew at 0.5 and −3°C. Some differences in growth were observed with the lactate and diacetate treatments in turkey meat among the three isolates. One isolate appeared to utilize the lactate, two were inhibited. Overall, 0.1% diacetate consistently delayed growth, although to different degrees, for all isolates.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Armour Swift-Eckrich, Product Development Laboratory, 3131 Woodcreek Drive, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515, USA

Publication date: July 1, 1999

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