Skip to main content

Predicting Growth–No Growth of Listeria monocytogenes on Vacuum-Packaged Ready-to-Eat Meats

Buy Article:

$37.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Compliance with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) composition-based labeling standards often has been regarded as evidence of the shelf stability of ready-to-eat (RTE) meats. However, the USDA now requires further proof of shelf stability. Our previous work included development of equations for predicting the probability of Staphylococcus aureus growth based on the pH and aw of an RTE product. In the present study, we evaluated the growth–no-growth during 21°C storage of Listeria monocytogenes on 39 vacuum-packaged commercial RTE meat products with a wide range of pH (4.6 to 6.5), aw (0.47 to 0.98), and percent water-phase salt (%WPS; 2.9 to 34.0). Pieces of each product were inoculated with a five-strain cocktail of L. monocytogenes and vacuum packaged, and L. monocytogenes levels were determined immediately after inoculation and after storage at 21°C for up to 5 weeks. L. monocytogenes grew on 13 of 14 products labeled "keep refrigerated" but not on any of the 25 products sold as shelf stable. Using bias reduction logistic regression data analysis, the probability of L. monocytogenes growth (Pr) could be predicted as a function of pH and aw: Pr = exp[−59.58 + (4.67 × pH) + (35.05 × aw)]/{1 + exp[−59.58 + (4.67 × pH) + (35.05 × aw)]}. Pr also could be predicted as a function of pH and %WPS: Pr = exp[−20.52 + (4.10 × pH) − (0.51 × %WPS)]/{1 + exp[−20.52 + (4.10 × pH) − (0.51 × %WPS)]}. The equations accurately predicted L. monocytogenes growth (Pr values of 0.68 to 0.99) or no growth (Pr values of <0.01 to 0.26) and with our equations for predicting S. aureus growth will be useful for evaluating RTE meat shelf stability.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection, Division of Food Safety, Madison, Wisconsin 53708, USA 2: Department of Food Science, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA 3: Departments of Statistics and Botany, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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
Partial Open Access Content
Partial 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