The development of Listeria monocytogenes Scott A, serotype 4 and aerobic plate counts on miced raw chicken were determined independently at 4, 10, and 27°C. Samples were packaged in flexible film under two modified atmospheres (one containing oxygen and one containing no oxygen) or air. The anaerobic modified atmosphere (75:25, CO2: N2) resulted in the failure of both the aerobic plate counts and L. monocytogenes to grow at all temperatures. Both the L. monocytogenes and aerobic plate counts grew in air at all temperatures. The aerobic modified atmosphere (72.5:22.5:5, CO2:N2:O2), which more closely duplicates commercial practice, inhibited the increase in aerobic plate counts by more than 4 log10 cfu/g compared to air at 4°C. However, the L. monocytogenes was not affected by this atmosphere and increased in numbers by nearly 6 log10 cfu/g at 4°C in 21 days. Regression analysis of the log10 growth and 95% confidence intervals showed that the differences between aerobic plate counts and L. monocytogenes in modified atmosphere were large. The ability of L. monocytogenes to grow in the aerobic modified atmosphere was not affected by level of the L. monocytogenes inoculum nor by the initial level of aerobic plate counts. These data show that modified atmosphere packaging of raw chicken (and probably other meats) can substantially inhibit the aerobic spoilage flora while allowing pathogenic L. monocytogenes to increase.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science