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Growth potential of Listeria monocytogenes in six different RTE fruit products: impact of food matrix, storage temperature and shelf life

Ziegler, Matthias, Rüegg, Simon, Stephan, Roger, Guldimann, Claudia
Italian journal of food safety 2018 v.7 no.3
Listeria monocytogenes, apples, cantaloupes, coconuts, food matrix, fruits, grapefruits, grapes, kiwifruit, mangoes, pH, pineapples, pomegranates, shelf life, storage temperature
We tested the growth potential of Listeria monocytogenes on six RTE fruit products at low (4°C at the factory followed by 8°C retail/home storage) and abusive (4°C followed by 12°C) storage temperatures. Sliced coconut and fresh cut cantaloupe, as well as a fruit mix containing diced pineapple, cantaloupe, apples and grapes supported the growth of L. monocytogenes with a growth potential δ>0.5 log CFU/g over six days. Mangoes, a mix of diced kiwi, cantaloupe and pineapple as well as a mix of diced pineapple, mango, grapefruit, kiwi and pomegranate did not support a growth potential that exceeded 0.5 log CFU/g over six days. The growth potential of L. monocytogenes correlated significantly with the pH; no product with a pH below 4 showed a significant growth potential of L. monocytogenes. Time after inoculation was also a significant predictor of the growth potential, while the fruit type and storage temperature were not.