School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences Faculty Publications and Presentations

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The effect of the pre-growth temperature of bacterial cultures on their subsequent survival kinetics in fresh-cut produce during refrigerated storage was investigated in this study. Three-strain cocktails of Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica, cultured at different growth temperatures (4, 21, and 37 °C) were inoculated on fresh-cut mixed salad and on individual produce in the mixed salad. The inoculated samples were stored at 4 °C and 80 ± 2% relative humidity (RH) for up to 72 h and the growth, survival, or death kinetics were determined at regular intervals. The results indicate that depending upon the type of pathogen tested, the pre-growth temperature(s) and the type of produce showed a significant (p ≤ 0.05) effect on the survival kinetics. Among the tested produce, mixed salad showed the highest reduction in L. monocytogenes pre-grown at 37 °C (1.33 log CFU/g) followed by red cabbage (0.56 log CFU/g), iceberg lettuce (0.52 log CFU/g), and carrot (-0.62 log CFU/g), after 72 h, respectively. In the case of Salmonella, carrot showed the highest reduction (1.07 log CFU/g for 37 °C pre-grown culture) followed by mixed salad (0.78 log CFU/g for 37 °C pre-grown culture), cabbage (0.76 log CFU/g for 21 °C pre-grown culture), and lettuce (0.65 log CFU/g for 4 °C pre-grown culture), respectively. Among the tested ComBase predictive models, the Baranyi-Roberts model better fitted the experimental data. These findings indicate that the appropriate selection of pre-growth environmental conditions is critical to better understand the kinetics of foodborne pathogens.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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