Defining the Growth/No-Growth Boundary for Listeria monocytogenes in Shelf Stable Pocket Sandwiches
Final rept. Jul 2006-Dec 2008
RUTGERS - THE STATE UNIV NEW BRUNSWICK NJ CENTER FOR ADVANCED FOOD TECHNOLOGY
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Honey Barbecue Beef and Bacon Cheddar pocket sandwiches were formulated such that their pH values and water activity values were much higher than allowable under the product specification, to create an environment that might support the growth of L. monocytogenes. . They were inoculated with a seven strain L. monocytogenes cocktail and repackaged. The product was incubated at 25 C and tested for the presence of viable L. monocytogenes over a 12 month period. It was concluded that L. monocytogenes does not grow in pocket sandwiches, including pocket sandwiches that are grossly misformulated. Listeria monocytogenes growth is, therefore, not a hazard reasonably likely to occur in these products and there is no need to include L. monocytogenes as an hazard in the HACCP plan. Even if the organism does somehow contaminate the sandwiches, it presents no risk to consumers of this product as long as the product is produced within the specification limits.
- Food, Food Service and Nutrition