An automated turbidimetric system using multiwelled plates was used to examine the effects of different combinations of NaCl (0.5-8.0% w/v), NaNO2 (0-400 micrograms/ml) pH (4.6-7.4) and temperature (5-30 degrees C) on the growth of Listeria monocytogenes in tryptone soya broth. The data presented clearly illustrate the combinations that permit visible growth of the organism. The ability of L. monocytogenes to grow at low pH levels was strongly influenced by incubation temperature as well as NaNO2 concentration. At 20 degrees C and below, no visible growth was detected, even with 50 micrograms/ml NaNO2 at pH 5.3 (or below) within 21 days. At pH 6.0 and above, NaNO2 had little effect in delaying visible growth except at higher concentrations and also at lower incubation temperatures.
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