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J Food Prot. 2003 Apr;66(4):584-91.

Recovery rate of Listeria monocytogenes from commercially prepared frankfurters during extended refrigerated storage.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Microbial Food Safety Research Unit, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038, USA.


To assess the prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes in vacuum-sealed packages of frankfurters, about 33,000 packages (1 lb each) were obtained by a third-party contractor from 12 volunteer commercial manufacturers over a 2-year period. The 12 producers, each of which contributed about 2,700 packages of frankfurters from one production run, comprised 9 large and 3 small plants located in eight U.S. Department of Agriculture/Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS) districts in 10 states. Five days after manufacture, 500 packages were sampled at the USDA/Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Eastern Regional Research Center (ERRC) in Wyndmoor, Pa., by the USDA/ARS package rinse method. At regular intervals during subsequent storage at 4 and 10 degrees C, an additional 200 packages were tested for the pathogen at each sampling point. From a statistical perspective, L. monocytogenes was not recovered from any of the products of nine of the producers, whereas the pathogen was recovered at rates of 1.5% (plant 367), 2.2% (plant 439), and 16% (plant 133) from the products of the remaining three plants. In total, 532 of 32,800 (1.6%) packages of frankfurters tested positive for the pathogen. The recovery rates did not change appreciably over time, there was no appreciable difference in L. monocytogenes recovery rates with respect to frankfurter storage temperature (4 or 10 degrees C), and the seasonality of manufacture had no influence on recovery rate. Molecular subtyping of multiple L. monocytogenes-positive isolates from each plant revealed that profile A (serotype 1/2a) was displayed by about 90% of the 1,105 isolates tested. However, in some cases it was also possible to recover more than one profile from a given plant. This study provides estimates of the prevalence, types, and viability of L. monocytogenes associated with commercially prepared frankfurters during extended refrigerated storage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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