Tackling listeria in ready-to-eat foods

Tackling listeria in ready-to-eat foods

Researchers of the Clemson University claim that combining in-package pasteurisation with natural antimicrobial treatments is a novel approach to food preservation.

This procedure has a greater impact on bacterial populations compared to interventions using a single treatment, reducing the need for intense heat treatment.

The researchers said the in-package pasteurisation resulted in an immediate 3.5 to 4.2 log reduction in L. monocytogenes for all treatments and that all pasteurised treatments also resulted in significant reduction of the pathogen by 12 weeks compared to un-pasteurised bologna.

In-package pasteurisation allied with nisin-lysozyme treatments was effective in reducing the bacterial population by below detectable levels by two-three weeks of storage.

The researchers claim that the intervention methods used in the study satisfy the requirements of alternative 1 of the interim final rule of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in regard to its regulation aimed at controlling L. monocytogenes in plants that produce RTE meat and poultry.

Alternative 1 requires the use of a post-lethality treatment to reduce the initial bacterium and an antimicrobial agent to suppress or limit the growth of the pathogen during storage.
Source: Food Microbiology (journal)