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J Food Prot. 1998 Sep;61(9):1098-102.

Effectiveness of salt, pH, and diacetyl as inhibitors for Escherichia coli O157:H7 in dairy foods stored at refrigeration temperatures.

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Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Athens, Georgia 30605, USA.


The behavior of Escherichia coli O157:H7 inoculated in 10% rehydrated nonfat dry milk adjusted to pH levels between 3.8 and 5.4 with lactic acid, salt levels of 0 to 6%, and diacetyl levels of 0, 5, and 10 micrograms/g was determined at 4 and 12 degrees C. Cell populations were determined by surface plating on tryptic soy agar after 7 and 35 days of incubation. Survival was also determined using retail cultured diary products. E. coli O157:H7 did not survive in skim milk at pH 3.8 and was reduced by 3 log cycles at pH 4.1, regardless of salt, diacetyl, and temperature levels. At pH levels above 4.4, survival was observed at lower salt concentrations for up to 35 days at both 12 and 4 degrees C. The organism grew (up to a 2.2-log increase) at pH 5.0 at 2% salt levels after 35 days of storage at 12 degrees C. Diacetyl at a concentration of 10 ppm had no effect on survival and growth. In all but one case, E. coli O157:H7 was inactivated in yogurt, sour cream, and buttermilk at a rate similar to or greater than what was consistent with the acidified skim milk data. Also consistent with the skim milk data, growth occurred in two of the three cottage cheese samples at 12 degrees C after 7 days but not after 35 days or at 4 degrees C, when a 1- to 2-log decline was observed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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