Heat resistance of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in a nutrient medium and in ground beef patties as influenced by storage and holding temperatures. Academic Article uri icon


  • Stationary-phase cultures of Escherichia coli O157:H7 were inoculated into tryptic soy broth, sealed in vials, and stored at -18 degrees C for 1, 8, and 15 days, or 3 or 15 degrees C for 3, 6, and 9 h. Thermal resistance was determined at 55 degrees C. Each storage treatment was repeated with additional holding at 23 or 30 degrees C for 1, 2, 3, or 4 h prior to heating to simulate potential temperature abuse during handling. Cultures under treatments enabling the growth of E. coli O157:H7 were generally more heat sensitive than those held at temperatures which restricted growth or enabled growth to stationary phase. Cultures stored frozen (-18 degrees C) without holding at elevated temperatures had greater heat resistance than those stored under refrigeration (3 degrees C) or at 15 degrees C. Subsequent holding of frozen cultures at 23 or 30 degrees C resulted in a decrease in heat resistance. To determine whether these responses would be observed under typical commercial preparation procedures, ground beef patties were inoculated with E. coli O157:H7 and stored at 3 or 15 degrees C for 9 h or at -18 degrees C for 8 d and then held at 21 or 30 degrees C for 0 or 4 h. Patties were grilled to an internal temperature of 54.4 degrees C (130 degrees F), 62.8 degrees C (145 degrees F), or 68.3 degrees C (155 degrees F). Cultures were most resistant in frozen patties, while cultures in patties stored at 15 degrees C were the most heat sensitive. Holding patties at 21 or 30 degrees C prior to grilling resulted in increased sensitivity. Storage and holding temperatures similar to those encountered in food service may influence the ability of E. coli O157:H7 to survive heat treatments.

published proceedings

  • J Food Prot

altmetric score

  • 9

author list (cited authors)

  • Jackson, T. C., Hardin, M. D., & Acuff, G. R.

citation count

  • 92

complete list of authors

  • Jackson, TC||Hardin, MD||Acuff, GR

publication date

  • January 1996