Contamination of ready-to-eat meat products such as beef franks with Listeria monocytogenes has become a major concern for the meat processing industry and an important food safety issue. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of combinations of antimicrobials as aqueous dipping solutions to control L. monocytogenes on vacuum-packaged beef franks stored at 4°C for 3 weeks. Commercial beef franks were dipped for 5 min in three antimicrobial solutions: pediocin (6,000 AU), 3% sodium diacetate and 6% sodium lactate combined, and a combination of the three antimicrobials. Samples were then inoculated with 107 CFU/g of either four L. monocytogenes strains individually or a cocktail of the four strains, vacuum packaged, and stored at 4°C for 3 weeks. Sampling was carried out at day 0 and after 2 and 3 weeks of storage. Individual strains, as well as the cocktail, exhibited different responses to the antimicrobial treatments. After 2 and 3 weeks of storage at 4°C, pediocin-treated beef franks showed a less than 1-log reduction for all bacterial strains. Samples treated with the sodium diacetate-sodium lactate combination showed about a 1-log reduction after 2 weeks of storage for all strains and between a 1- and 2-log reduction after 3 weeks of storage, depending on the bacterial strain. When the three antimicrobials were combined, reductions ranged between 1 and 1.5 log units and 1.5 to 2.5 log units after 2 and 3 weeks of storage, respectively, at 4°C. These results indicate that the use of combined antimicrobial solutions for dipping treatments is more effective at inhibiting L. monocytogenes than treatments using antimicrobials such as pediocin separately.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science