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Survival and growth of Listeria monocytogenes on lettuce as influenced by shredding, chlorine treatment, modified atmosphere packaging and temperature

Beuchat, L.R., Brackett, R.E.
Journal of food science 1990 v.55 no.3 pp. 755-870
Listeria monocytogenes, controlled atmosphere storage, temperature, shredding, chlorine, microorganisms, lettuce
The effects of shredding, chlorine treatment and modified atmosphere packaging on survival and growth of Listeria monocytogenes, mesophilic aerobes, psychrotrophs and yeasts and molds on lettuce stored at 5 degrees C and 10 degrees C were determined. With the exception of shredded lettuce which had not been chlorine treated, no significant changes in populations of L. monocytogenes were detected during the first 8 days of incubation at 5 degrees C; significant increases occurred between 8 and 15 days. Significant increases occurred within 3 days when lettuce was stored at 10 degrees C; after 10 days, populations reached 10(8)-10(9) CFU/g. Chlorine treatment, modified atmosphere (3% O2, 97% N2) and shredding did not influence growth of L. monocytogenes. It was concluded that L. monocytogenes is capable of growing on lettuce subjected to commonly used packaging and distribution procedures used in the food industry.