A one-step, recovery-enrichment broth, optimized Penn State University (oPSU) broth, was developed to consistently detect low levels of injured and uninjured Listeria monocytogenes cells in ready-to-eat foods. The oPSU broth contains special selective agents that inhibit growth of background flora without inhibiting recovery of injured Listeria cells. After recovery in the anaerobic section of oPSU broth, Listeria cells migrated to the surface, forming a black zone. This migration separated viable from nonviable cells and the food matrix, thereby reducing inhibitors that prevent detection by molecular methods. The high Listeria-to-background ratio in the black zone resulted in consistent detection of low levels of L. monocytogenes in pasteurized foods by both cultural and molecular methods, and greatly reduced both false-negative and false-positive results. oPSU broth does not require transfer to a secondary enrichment broth, making it less laborious and less subject to external contamination than 2-step enrichment protocols. Addition of 159mM D-serine prevented germination of Bacillus spores, but not the growth of vegetative cells. Replacement of D-serine with 12 mg/L acriflavin inhibited growth of vegetative cells of Bacillus spp. without inhibiting recovery of injured Listeria cells. oPSU broth may allow consistent detection of low levels of injured and uninjured cells of L. monocytogenes in pasteurized foods containing various background microflora.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Food Science
- Environmental Chemistry
- Agronomy and Crop Science