Behavior of avirulent Yersinia pestis in liquid whole eggs as affected by storage temperature, antimicrobials and thermal pasteurization
Posted: March 23rd, 2010 - 11:17am
Source: Journal of Food Safety
Yersinia spp. are psychrotrophic bacteria capable of growth at temperatures as low as -2C, known to contaminate shell eggs and liquid eggs in the U.S.A. and South America. A study was performed to determine the thermal sensitivity of avirulent Yersinia pestis in liquid whole egg (LWE), evaluate the growth pattern of the bacterium in LWE at temperatures of 4–22C and assess the ability of 10 antimicrobial compounds to inhibit the growth of attenuated Y. pestis in LWE. The estimated decimal reduction values of avirulent Y. pestis in LWE at 54C (D54) were 1.39–1.58 min, and D60 values were 13.8 and 11.4 s by the addition of 0 and 965 IU of nisin (MP Biomedicals, LLC, Solon, OH), respectively. Low molecular weight chitosan (0.5%) and an activated lactoperoxidase system (2.18 U/mL) were ineffective at inhibiting growth of Y. pestis, while 500 IU/mL of nisin inhibited populations by up to 1 log cfu/mL at 4, 10 and 15C when compared with the control. Allyl isothiocyanate, diacetyl, diethyl dicarbonate, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, methylparaben, monolaurin and benzoyl peroxide inhibited the growth of attenuated Y. pestis when added at high levels.
The genus Yersinia does not currently pose a problem in pasteurized liquid egg products, although it has been isolated from eggs in the U.S.A. and Argentina. Yersiniae, which are psychrotrophic bacteria, can grow at temperatures as low as -2C; therefore, incidental or intentional contamination of liquid whole egg (LWE) with Yersinia spp. could result in multiplication to high populations, even when stored under refrigeration (ca. 4C). We have shown that avirulent Yersinia pestis is able to multiply to populations of >2, 5 and 8 log cfu/mL in LWE at 4C within 6, 14 and 26 days, respectively. This study provides information that will be helpful in determining thermal and nonthermal means of controlling yersiniae in LWE products.