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J Food Prot. 2007 Sep;70(9):2111-7.

Dry stress and survival time of Enterobacter sakazakii and other Enterobacteriaceae in dehydrated powdered infant formula.

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School of Biomedical and Natural Sciences, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Lane, Nottingham NG11 8NS, United Kingdom.


Powdered infant formula is not a sterile product, and opportunistic pathogens could multiply in the reconstituted product, resulting in neonatal infections. In this study, the generation of sublethally injured Enterobacteriaceae during desiccation and their persistence in dehydrated powdered infant formula was assessed during a 2.5-year period. The study included 27 strains of Enterobacter sakazakii, Enterobacter cloacae, Salmonella Enteritidis, Citrobacter koseri, Citrobacter freundii, Escherichia coli, Escherichia vulneris, Pantoea spp., Klebsiella oxytoca, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. The number of sublethally injured cells generated during desiccation was lower for K. oxytoca, Pantoea spp., Salmonella Enteritidis, and capsulated strains of E. sakazakii than for the other Enterobacteriaceae. The Enterobacteriaceae could be divided into three groups with respect to their long-term survival in the desiccated state. C. freundii, C. koseri, and E. cloacae were no longer recoverable after 6 months, and Salmonella Enteritidis, K. pneumoniae, and E. coli could not be recovered after 15 months. Pantoea spp., K. oxytoca, and E. vulneris persisted over 2 years, and some capsulated strains of E. sakazakii were still recoverable after 2.5 years.

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