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Int J Food Microbiol. 2014 Nov 17;191:157-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2014.09.013. Epub 2014 Sep 19.

Psychrotrophic lactic acid bacteria associated with production batch recalls and sporadic cases of early spoilage in Belgium between 2010 and 2014.

Author information

1
LFMFP, Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Food Preservation, Department of Food Safety and Food Quality, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Member of Food2Know, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Gent, Belgium. Electronic address: Vasileios.Pothakos@vub.ac.be.
2
Laboratory of Food Microbiology, Department of Food Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liege, Bat. B43b, Sart Tilman, B-4000 Liege, Belgium.
3
Laboratory of Microbiology and BCCM/LMG Bacteria Collection, Faculty of Sciences, Ghent University, Member of Food2Know, K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000 Gent, Belgium.
4
Quality Partner s.a., rue Hayeneux, 62, 4040 Herstal, Belgium.
5
LFMFP, Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Food Preservation, Department of Food Safety and Food Quality, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Member of Food2Know, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Gent, Belgium.

Abstract

Between 2010 and 2014 several spoilage cases in Belgium occurring in retail foodstuffs prior to the end of shelf-life have been reported to our laboratory. Overall, seven cases involved strictly psychrotrophic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) contamination in packaged and chilled-stored food products. The products derived either from recalls of entire production batches or as specimens of sporadic spoilage manifestations. Some of these samples were returned to the manufacturing companies by consumers who observed the alterations after purchasing the products. The products covered a wide range of foodstuffs (i.e. meat, dairy, vegetable, egg products and composite food) and denoted different spoilage defects. However, the microbiota determined by means of 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing analysis underpin few LAB genera (i.e. Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, Weissella and Lactococcus), which are frequently encountered nowadays as specific spoilage organisms (SSO) albeit overlooked by mesophilic enumeration methods due to their strictly psychrotrophic character. The present study confirms the spreading of psychrotrophic LAB in Belgian food processing environments leading to unexpected spoilage, corroborating their spoilage dynamics and prevalence in all kinds of packaged and refrigerated foodstuffs in Northern Europe.

KEYWORDS:

16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing; Early spoilage; Leuconostoc gelidum subsp. gasicomitatum; Production batch recall; Psychrotrophic LAB

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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