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Eradicating Listeria monocytogenes from Fully Cooked Franks by Using an Integrated Pasteurization-Packaging System

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Surface pasteurization by applying steam or hot water before or after packaging of processed foods may be used to eliminate pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes from ready-to-eat meat and poultry products. Surface pasteurization treatment with a mixture of pressurized steam and hot water was integrated into a continuous vacuum-packaging system to reduce L. monocytogenes from fully cooked franks. The franks (2.54 cm diameter by 15.24 cm length) were surface inoculated to contain up to 6 log CFU/cm2 L. monocytogenes. The inoculated franks were treated at 121°C for 1.5 s in an arrangement of six franks per packaging chamber followed by immediate vacuum sealing of the top films of food packages in the same unit. A 3-log CFU/cm2 reduction of L. monocytogenes on fully cooked franks was obtained using the integrated pasteurizationpackaging system. The pasteurization depth was 1.27 mm below the surfaces of the franks. This process provides a commercially applicable means of ensuring food safety by effectively eradicating L. monocytogenes from ready-to-eat meat and poultry products at the very last possible step of food packaging before reaching retail consumers.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-03-01

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