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Fort Collins, CO, United States

Simpson Beauchamp C.,Center for Meat Safety and Quality | Byelashov O.A.,Center for Meat Safety and Quality | Geornaras I.,Center for Meat Safety and Quality | Kendall P.A.,Colorado State University | And 4 more authors.
Food Microbiology | Year: 2010

Little information is available regarding the fate of Listeria monocytogenes during freezing, thawing and home storage of frankfurters even though recent surveys show that consumers regularly store unopened packages in home freezers. This study examined the effects of antimicrobials, refrigerated storage, freezing, thawing method, and post-thawing storage (7 °C) on L. monocytogenes on frankfurters. Inoculated (2.1 log CFU/cm2) frankfurters formulated without (control) or with antimicrobials (1.5% potassium lactate plus 0.1% sodium diacetate) were vacuum-packaged, stored at 4 °C for 6 or 30 d and then frozen (-15 °C) for 10, 30, or 50 d. Packages were thawed under refrigeration (7 °C, 24 h), on a countertop (23 ± 2 °C, 8 h), or in a microwave oven (2450 MHz, 1100 watts, 220 s followed by 120 s holding), and then stored aerobically (7 °C) for 14 d. Bacterial populations were enumerated on PALCAM agar and tryptic soy agar plus 0.6% yeast extract. Antimicrobials completely inhibited (p < 0.05) growth of L. monocytogenes at 4 °C for 30 d under vacuum-packaged conditions, and during post-thawing aerobic storage at 7 °C for 14 d. Different intervals between inoculation and freezing (6 or 30 d) resulted in different pathogen levels on control frankfurters (2.1 or 3.9 log CFU/cm2, respectively), while freezing reduced counts by <1.0 log CFU/cm2. Thawing treatments had little effect on L. monocytogenes populations (<0.5 log CFU/cm2), and post-thawing fate of L. monocytogenes was not influenced by freezing or by thawing method. Pathogen counts on control samples increased by 1.5 log CFU/cm2 at d-7 of aerobic storage, and reached 5.6 log CFU/cm2 at d-14. As indicated by these results, consumers should freeze frankfurters immediately after purchase, and discard frankfurters formulated without antimicrobials within 3 d of thawing and/or opening. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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