Skip to main content

Escherichia coli O157:H7 Strains Isolated from Environmental Sources Differ Significantly in Acetic Acid Resistance Compared with Human Outbreak Strains

Buy Article:

$37.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


A number of studies on the influence of acid on Escherichia coli O157:H7 have shown considerable strain differences, but limited information has been reported to compare the acid resistance based on the different sources of E. coli O157:H7 isolates. The purpose of this study was to determine the survival of E. coli O157:H7 strains isolated from five sources (foods, bovine carcasses, bovine feces, water, and human) in 400 mM acetic acid solutions under conditions that are typical of acidified foods. The isolates from bovine carcasses, feces, and water survived acetic acid treatment at pH 3.3 and 30°C significantly (P ≤ 0.05) better than did any food or human isolates. However, resistance to acetic acid significantly increased as temperature decreased to 15°C for a given pH, with little (P ≥ 0.05) difference among the different isolation sources. All groups of E. coli O157:H7 strains showed more than 1.8- to 4.5-log reduction at pH 3.3 and 30°C after 25 min. Significantly reduced (less than 1-log reduction) lethality for all E. coli O157:H7 strain mixtures was observed when pH increased to 3.7 or 4.3, with little difference in acetic acid resistance among the groups. The addition of glutamate to the acetic acid solution or anaerobic incubation provided the best protection compared with the above conditions for all groups of isolates. These results suggest that temperature, pH, and atmospheric conditions are key factors in establishing strategies for improving the safety of acidified foods.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, College of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Kangwon National University, Hyoja 2-dong, Chuncheon 200-701, Republic of Korea 2: Department of Microbiology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7615 3: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, P.O. Box 166, Spur 18D, Clay Center, Nebraska 68933-0166 4: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Western Regional Research Center, 800 Buchanan Street, Albany, California 94710 5: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Department of Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7624, USA;, Email:

Publication date: March 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • IAFP Members with personal subscriptions to JFP Online: To access full-text JFP or JMFT articles, you must sign-in in the upper-right corner using your Ingenta sign-in details (your IAFP Member Login does not apply to this website).

    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

    Print and online subscriptions are available to IAFP Members and institutional subscribers. IAFP Members with a subscription to JFP Online will have access to all available JFP and JMFT content. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Membership and subscription information is available at
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more