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J Appl Bacteriol. 1994 Sep;77(3):256-63.

Studies on the Bacillus flora of milk and milk products.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK.


Bacillus licheniformis and B. cereus were the most commonly isolated species of Bacillus found in milk at all stages of processing. Bacillus licheniformis was ubiquitous in the farm environment and counts in raw milks heat-treated in the laboratory were higher during the winter months, whilst B. cereus was associated with cattle feed throughout the year, and tended to be more common in raw milks during the summer months. Although B. licheniformis was usually isolated in larger numbers than B. cereus, this pattern changed after raw and pasteurized milks and reconstituted milk powders were pre-incubated at ambient temperatures, and B. cereus came to dominate the Bacillus population, reaching levels associated with enterotoxin production. Investigation of the growth kinetics of strains of both species showed that B. cereus grew faster than B. licheniformis at ambient temperatures. It is suggested that post-pasteurization contamination, which is commonly blamed for spoilage of milk and milk products by B. cereus, is not necessarily the most important source of this organism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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