Irradiation and Modified Atmosphere Packaging for the Control of Listeria monocytogenes on Turkey Meat

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When radiation-sterilized ground turkey meat was inoculated with Listeria monocytogenes, packaged under mixtures of nitrogen and carbon dioxide, and irradiated with gamma-radiation doses of 0 to 3.0 kGy, there was a statistically significant (P < 0.05), but probably not a biologically significant, lower (0.39 log) predicted bacterial survival in the presence of 100% carbon dioxide than in the presence of 100% nitrogen. Possibly because all atmospheres contained oxygen and because a response surface design was used, gamma-radiation resistance was not significantly (P < 0.05) different in air than in modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) mixtures containing 5% O2 or containing 20, 40, 60, and 80% CO2 and balance N2. The antilisterial effects of MAP mixtures containing 17.2, 40.5, and 64% CO2 and balance N2 were compared to those associated with air and vacuum packaging on turkey inoculated with approximately 5 × 103 CFU/g. Samples were irradiated to doses of 0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, and 2.5 kGy and were stored at 78 C for up to 28 days. Irradiation treatments were significantly more lethal in the presence of air packaging than in either vacuum packaging or MAP, and in those samples that received <1.0 kGy, there was a concentration-dependent CO2 inhibition of L. monocytogenes multiplication and/or recovery.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, Food Safety Research Unit, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038, USA

Publication date: October 1, 1999

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