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Effect of Irradiation Temperature on Inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Staphylococcus aureus

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The resistance of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Staphylococcus aureus in ground beef to gamma radiation was significantly (P < 0.05) higher at subfreezing temperatures than above freezing. Ground beef was inoculated (ca. 2 × 108 CFU/g) with five isolates of either E. coli O157:H7 or S. aureus and subdivided into 25-g samples, vacuum packaged in barrier pouches, and tempered to 20, 12, 4, 0, -4, -12, -20, -30, -40, or -76°C before gamma irradiation. The studies were repeated twice. The D 10-values for both of these pathogens increased significantly at subfreezing temperatures, reaching maxima at approximately -20°C. The D 10-values for E. coli O157:H7 at 4 and -20°C were 0.39 ± 0.04 and 0.98 ± 0.23 kGy, respectively. The D 10-values for S. aureus at 0 and -20°C were 0.51 ± 0.02 and 0.88 ± 0.05 kGy, respectively.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Food Safety Research Unit, USDA, ARS, NAA, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2001

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