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Int J Food Microbiol. 2017 Oct 3;258:68-72. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2017.07.016. Epub 2017 Jul 26.

Survival of selected foodborne pathogens on dry cured pork loins.

Author information

1
Animal Health Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Campus Universitario de Rabanales, 'International Excellence Agrifood Campus, ceiA3', Córdoba University, 14071 Córdoba, Spain; CICAP - Food Research Centre, 14400 Pozoblanco, Córdoba, Spain.
2
Animal Health Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Campus Universitario de Rabanales, 'International Excellence Agrifood Campus, ceiA3', Córdoba University, 14071 Córdoba, Spain.
3
CICAP - Food Research Centre, 14400 Pozoblanco, Córdoba, Spain. Electronic address: v92golaj@uco.es.

Abstract

The safety of ready-to-eat products such as cured pork loins must be guaranteed by the food industry. In the present study, the efficacy of the dry curing process of pork loins obtained from free-range pigs in the reduction of three of the most important foodborne pathogens is analysed. A total of 28 pork loin segments, with an average weight of 0.57±0.12kg, were divided into four groups with three being inoculated by immersion with 7logCFU/ml of either Salmonella Typhimurium, Campylobacter coli or Listeria innocua and the last one inoculated by immersion with sterile medium (control group). The loin segments were treated with a seasoning mixture of curing agents and spices, packed in a synthetic sausage casing and cured for 64days. Microbiological analysis, pH and water activity (aw) were assessed at four stages. The values of pH and aw decreased with curing time as expected. S. Typhimurium and C. coli dropped significantly (3.28 and 2.14 log units, respectively), but limited reduction of L. innocua (0.84 log unit) was observed along the curing process. In our study, three factors were considered critical: the initial concentration of the bacteria, the progressive reduction of pH and the reduction of aw values. Our results encourage performing periodic analysis at different stages of the manufacturing of dry cured pork loins to ensure the absence of the three evaluated foodborne pathogens.

KEYWORDS:

Campylobacter; Dry-curing; Listeria; Pork loins; Salmonella; Water activity

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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