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Radiation Sensitivity and Postirradiation Growth of Foodborne Pathogens on a Ready-to-Eat Frankfurter on a Roll Product in the Presence of Modified Atmosphere and Antimicrobials

Sommers, C.H., Boyd, G.
Journal of food protection 2006 v.69 no.10 pp. 2436
ready-to-eat foods, hot dogs, sandwiches, rolls, food preservatives, sodium acetate, lactates, antibacterial properties, minimum inhibitory concentration, food irradiation, gamma radiation, food packaging, modified atmosphere packaging, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, food storage, storage temperature, storage time, food contamination, bacterial contamination, food pathogens, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, radiation resistance, stress tolerance
Intervention technologies including ionizing radiation, antimicrobials, and modified atmospheres (MA) can be used to inhibit the growth of or inactivate foodborne pathogens on complex ready-to-eat foods such as sandwiches. However, the effect of these technologies when used in combination (the hurdle concept) on the survival of foodborne pathogens is unknown. The ability of ionizing radiation to inactivate Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus inoculated onto a frankfurter on a roll product containing the antimicrobials sodium diacetate and potassium lactate in the presence of an MA (100% N2, 50% N2 plus 50% CO2, or 100% CO2) was investigated. The radiation resistances (D10-values) of the foodborne pathogens were 0.43 to 0.47 kGy for E. coli O157:H7, 0.61 to 0.71 kGy for Salmonella, 0.53 to 0.57 for L. monocytogenes, and 0.56 to 0.60 for S. aureus. The MA had no effect on the radiation resistance of the pathogens. During a 2-week storage period under mild temperature abuse (10°C), none of the pathogens were able to proliferate on the frankfurter on a roll product, regardless of the MA used. However, application of sublethal doses of ionizing radiation resulted in increased mortality of the gram-positive pathogens L. monocytogenes and S. aureus during the storage period regardless of the MA. Although the pathogens were unable to proliferate on the frankfurter on a roll product during the storage period, application of a postpackaging intervention step was needed to actually inactivate the foodborne pathogens. Ionizing radiation used in combination with sodium diacetate and potassium lactate resulted in additional mortality of L. monocytogenes and S. aureus, independent of the MA, during the 2-week storage period.