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Postprocess Control of Listeria monocytogenes on Commercial Frankfurters Formulated with and without Antimicrobials and Stored at 10°C

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The antilisterial effect of postprocess antimicrobial treatments on commercially manufactured frankfurters formulated with and without a 1.5% potassium lactate–0.05% sodium diacetate combination was evaluated. Frankfurters were inoculated (ca. 3 to 4 log CFU/cm2) with 10-strain composite Listeria monocytogenes cultures originating from different sources. The inocula evaluated were cells grown planktonically in tryptic soy broth plus 0.6% yeast extract (30°C, 24 h) or in a smoked sausage homogenate (15°C, 7 days) and cells that had been removed from stainless steel coupons immersed in an inoculated smoked sausage homogenate (15°C, 7 days). Inoculated frankfurters were dipped (2 min, 25 ± 2°C) in acetic acid (AA; 2.5%), lactic acid (LA; 2.5%), potassium benzoate (PB; 5%), or Nisaplin (commercial form of nisin; 0.5%, equivalent to 5,000 IU/ml of nisin) solutions, or in Nisaplin followed by AA, LA, or PB, and were subsequently vacuum packaged and stored for 48 days at 10°C. In addition to microbiological analyses, sensory evaluations were performed with uninoculated samples that had been treated with AA, LA, or PB for 2 min. Initial L. monocytogenes populations were reduced by 1.0 to 1.8 log CFU/cm2 following treatment with AA, LA, or PB solutions, and treatments that included Nisaplin reduced initial levels by 2.4 to >3.8 log CFU/cm2. All postprocessing treatments resulted in some inhibition of L. monocytogenes during the initial stages of storage of frankfurters that were not formulated with potassium lactate–sodium diacetate; however, in all cases, significant (P < 0.05) growth occurred by the end of storage. The dipping of products formulated with potassium lactate–sodium diacetate in AA or LA alone—or in Nisaplin followed by AA, LA, or PB—increased lag-phase durations and lowered the maximum specific growth rates of the pathogen. Moreover, depending on the origin of the inoculum, this dipping of products led to listericidal effects. In general, differences in growth kinetics were obtained for the three inocula that were used to contaminate the frankfurters. Possible reasons for these differences include the presence of stress-adapted subpopulations and the inhibition of the growth of the pathogen due to high levels of spoilage microflora. The dipping of frankfurters in AA, LA, or PB did not (P > 0.05) affect the sensory attributes of the product when compared to the control samples. The data generated in this study may be useful to U.S. ready-to-eat meat processors in their efforts to comply with regulatory requirements.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Center for Red Meat Safety, Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523, USA 2: Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523, USA

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