Fate of Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella Typhimurium DT104, and Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Labneh as a Pre- and Postfermentation Contaminant

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Commercially pasteurized milk (∼2% milkfat) was heated at 85 to 87°C/30 min, inoculated to contain 2,000 to 6,000 CFU/ml of Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella Typhimurium DT104, or Escherichia coli O157:H7, cultured at 43°C for 4 h with a 2.0% (wt/wt) commercial yogurt starter culture, stored 12 to 14 h at 6°C, and centrifuged to obtain a Labneh-like product. Alternatively, traditional salted and unsalted Labneh was prepared using a 3.0% (wt/wt) starter culture inoculum, similarly inoculated after manufacture with the aforementioned pathogens, and stored at 6°C and 20°C. Throughout fermentation, Listeria populations remained unchanged, whereas numbers of Salmonella increased 0.33 to 0.47 logs during the first 2 h of fermentation and decreased thereafter. E. coli populations increased 0.46 to 1.19 logs during fermentation and remained that these levels during overnight cold storage. When unsalted and salted Labneh were inoculated after manufacture, Salmonella populations decreased >2 logs in all samples after 2 days, regardless of storage temperature, with the pathogen no longer detected in 4-day-old samples. Numbers of L. monocytogenes decreased from 2.48 to 3.70 to <1.00 to 1.95 logs after 2 days with the pathogen persisting up to 15 days in one lot of salted/unsalted Labneh stored at 6°C. E. coli O157:H7 populations decreased from 3.39 to 3.7 to <1.00 to 2.08 logs during the first 2 days, with the pathogen no longer detected in any 4-day-old samples. Inactivation rates for all three pathogens in Labneh were unrelated to storage temperature or salt content. Unlike L. monocytogenes that persisted up to 15 days in Labneh, rapid inactivation of Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 and E. coli O157:H7 suggests that these emerging foodborne pathogens are of less public health concern in traditional Labneh.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Food Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Tishreen University, Lattakia, Syria 2: Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, 2108 S. Anthony Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1225, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2000

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