MODELING THE BEHAVIOR OF LISTERIA MONOCYTOGENES IN pH‐MODIFIED CHICKEN SALAD DURING COLD STORAGE AND TEMPERATURE ABUSE CONDITIONS
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Listeria monocytogenes grows at refrigeration temperatures (5C or below) and tolerates various environmental stressors. The Food and Drug Administration specifies a zero tolerance for this pathogen in certain ready-to-eat processed foods. Modeling its dynamic behavior to fluctuation in temperature at various pH levels is critical to the safety of food. This study presents linear and nonlinear models to predict the behavior of L. monocytogenes in pH-modified chicken salad at various cold storage and temperature abuse conditions. A linear model of the kinetics accounting for simple and interactive effects of storage time, temperature and pH was developed. Predictions of the linear model were inconsistent with laboratory observations. The limitations of the linear model were reflected in the poor correlation of model predictions to the observed values (r 2 = 0.58). A proposed nonlinear model was therefore used to model the observed data. The four model parameters (N(0), C c(0), k max and N res ) were optimized for each of the nine treatments. Correlation coefficient (r 2) values ranged from 0.70 (pH 5.2, 7.2C) to 0.99 (pH 4.0, 21.1C), indicating an improved accuracy. Developing a functional and validated microbial predictive model for chicken salad requires further analyses and collection of data at additional pH and temperature values to determine a single set of parameter values that would represent the microbial behavior at the full range of pH and temperatures observed under storage conditions. Future experiments should address the adaptive nature of L. monocytogenes, as the response to environmental stressors affects the survival of the organism in food systems. © 2006, Blackwell Publishing.
author list (cited authors)
GUENTERT, A. M., MOHTAR, R. H., LINTON, R. H., TAMPLIN, M., & LUCHANSKY, J. B.