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J Food Prot. 1998 Oct;61(10):1372-4.

Fate of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in ground apples used in cider production.

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  • 1University of Tennessee, Department of Food Science and Technology, Knoxville 37901-1071, USA.


Survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in ground Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Rome, and Winesap apples stored at 4, 10, and 25 degrees C was determined. E. coli O157:H7 populations were monitored for up to 18 days (4 degrees C), 12 days (10 degrees C), and 5 days (25 degrees C), when mold contamination became visible. At 25 degrees C, Red Delicious apples supported survival of E. coli O157:H7 better (P < 0.05) than the other cultivars, followed by Golden Delicious and Rome apples, which were not statistically different (P > 0.05). Winesap apples were the least favorable (P < 0.05) for survival of E. coli O157:H7 at 25 degrees C. E. coli O157:H7 was recovered at similar rates from Golden Delicious and Red Delicious apples, (P > 0.05), but pathogen populations increased in both cultivars (P < 0.05) during storage at 25 degrees C. At 10 degrees C, survival of E. coli O157:H7 was poorest (P < 0.05) in ground Red Delicious apples, while there was no significant difference in survival of E. coli O157:H7 among ground Golden Delicious, Rome, or Winesap cultivars (P > 0.05). When stored at 4 degrees C, Golden Delicious and Rome apples were not statistically different in supporting survival of the pathogen (P > 0.05). In general, apple pH increased during storage and was associated with mold growth. Results of this investigation indicate that there is no trend toward a particular apple cultivar supporting survival of E. coli O157:H7. However, variation in apple pH during storage can negatively or positively influence E. coli O157:H7 survival at 25 degrees C.

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