Applied and environmental microbiology

Evaluation of lactic acid bacterium fermentation products and food-grade chemicals to control Listeria monocytogenes in blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) meat.

PMID 7944362


Fresh blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) meat was obtained from retail markets in Florida and sampled for viable Listeria monocytogenes. The pathogen was found in crabmeat in three of four different lots tested by enrichment and at levels of 75 CFU/g in one of the same four lots by direct plating. Next, crabmeat was steam sterilized, inoculated with a three-strain mixture of L. monocytogenes (ca. 5.5 log10 CFU/g), washed with various lactic acid bacterium fermentation products (2,000 to 20,000 arbitrary units [AU]/ml of wash) or food-grade chemicals (0.25 to 4 M), and stored at 4 degrees C. Counts of the pathogen remained relatively constant in control samples during storage for 6 days, whereas in crabmeat washed with Perlac 1911 or MicroGard (10,000 to 20,000 AU), numbers initially decreased (0.5 to 1.0 log10 unit/g) but recovered to original levels within 6 days. Numbers of L. monocytogenes cells decreased 1.5 to 2.7 log10 units/g of crabmeat within 0.04 day when washed with 10,000 to 20,000 AU of Alta 2341, enterocin 1083, or Nisin per ml. Thereafter, counts increased 0.5 to 1.6 log10 units within 6 days. After washing with food-grade chemicals, modest reductions (0.4 to 0.8 log10 unit/g) were observed with sodium acetate (4 M), sodium diacetate (0.5 or 1 M), sodium lactate (1 M), or sodium nitrite (1.5 M). However, Listeria counts in crabmeat washed with 2 M sodium diacetate decreased 2.6 log10 units/g within 6 days. In addition, trisodium phosphate reduced L. monocytogenes counts from 1.7 (0.25 M) to > 4.6 (1 M) log10 units/g within 6 days.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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