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J Food Prot. 2000 Sep;63(9):1204-7.

Persistent Listeria monocytogenes strains show enhanced adherence to food contact surface after short contact times.

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Department of Food and Environmental Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Adherence of 3 persistent and 14 nonpersistent Listeria monocytogenes strains to stainless steel surfaces after short and long contact times was investigated. L. monocytogenes strains were obtained from poultry plants and an ice cream plant throughout several years. Adherence tests were performed in tryptic soy broth at 25 degrees C for 1, 2, and 72 h. Test surfaces were rinsed after the contact time, and attached cells were stained with acridine orange and enumerated with an epifluorescence microscope. The persistent poultry plant strains showed adherence 2- to 11-fold higher than the nonpersistent strains following 1- and 2-h contact times. The adherence of the persistent ice cream plant strain after 1- and 2-h contact times was higher than most of the nonpersistent strains. Seven of 12 nonpersistent ice cream strains showed an adherence of less than half that of the persistent strain. After 72 h, the differences in adherence were not as marked, since half the nonpersistent strains had reached adherence levels comparable with the persistent strains. In fact, three nonpersistent strains showed even higher adherence than the persistent strains. Thus, results of this study reveal that persistent L. monocytogenes strains show enhanced adherence at short contact times, promoting their survival in food processing facilities and possibly having an effect on initiation of persistent plant contamination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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