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Acid Stress, Starvation, and Cold Stress Affect Poststress Behavior of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Nonpathogenic Escherichia coli

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The effects of acid shock, acid adaptation, starvation, and cold stress of Escherichia coli O157:H7 (ATCC 43895), an rpoS mutant (FRIK 816-3), and nonpathogenic E. coli (ATCC 25922) on poststress heat resistance and freeze-thaw resistance were investigated. Following stress, heat tolerance at 56°C and freeze-thaw resistance at –20 to 21°C were determined. Heat and freeze-thaw resistance of E. coli O157:H7 and nonpathogenic E. coli was enhanced after acid adaptation and starvation. Following cold stress, heat resistance of E. coli O157:H7 and nonpathogenic E. coli was decreased, while freeze-thaw resistance was increased. Heat and freeze-thaw resistance of the rpoS mutant was enhanced only after acid adaptation. Increased or decreased tolerance of acid-adapted, starved, or cold-stressed E. coli O157:H7 cells to heat or freeze-thaw processes should be considered when processing minimally processed or extended shelf-life foods.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food Science and Technology, Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762-9805, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2001

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