Efficacy of a Hold-Time at 10OC for Achieving a 5-log Reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella enterica, and Listeria monocytogenes in Prepared Mustard

Grace A. Ingham, Meichen Pan, Federica Ranelli, Barbara H. Ingham

Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 8-15, Jan 2017

Volume 37, Issue 1: Pages 8–15

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Most manufacturers of acidified foods use heat pasteurization to achieve a 5-log reduction in vegetative acid-resistant pathogens and ensure product safety. For sensory reasons, mustard manufacturers may wish to avoid pasteurization. Research has validated cold-fill-hold times for a 5-log reduction of pathogens in pickle brine with pH < 3.3, or with pH of 3.5 or 3.8 and formulated with specific levels of acetic and benzoic acids. We investigated survival of 5-strain single-pathogen cocktails of Escherichia coli O157:H7 (EC), Salmonella spp. (SP), and Listeria monocytogenes (LM) in 25 mustards over 96 h at 10ºC to determine whether a cold-hold process would ensure pathogen reduction across a variety of mustard formulations. Final Δ-log CFU/g across all pathogen/mustard combinations ranged from 3.3 to > 8.0. A > 5-log reduction occurred in 87, 92, and 100% of EC, SP, and LM trials, respectively. Average pH = 3.4 and aw = 0.96 characterized all mustards, including mustards (n = 7) with > 5-log reduction in all pathogens in < 6 h. Slightly higher average pH (3.7) and lower aw (0.93) characterized mustards (n = 3) in which adequate lethality was never achieved in the case of at least one pathogen. Results failed to establish a hold-time at 10ºC that would ensure adequate pathogen reduction across a variety of mustard formulations.

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