The effect of low-temperature long-time (LTLT) cooking on survival of potentially pathogenic Clostridium perfringens in beef

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Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Low-temperature long-time (LTLT) cooking may lead to risk of potential survival of pathogenic bacteria such as Clostridium perfringens in cooked meat. In this study, the effect of LTLT cooking on C. perfringens was investigated at temperatures commonly used by caterers. Brain heart infusion broth (BHIB) and meat cubes in pouches (vacuumed or non-vacuumed) were inoculated with C. perfringens (NCTC 8238) and heated at temperatures of 48 °C, 53 °C, 55 °C, 60 °C and 70 °C. The viability of C. perfringens in BHIB and meat was monitored using plate counting and the D-value of each thermal treatment was determined. The recovery of C. perfringens after thermal treatment was assessed using optical density measurements. Flow cytometry analysis was used to assess the physiological status (death/injury) of C. perfringens cells in BHIB. The results showed that the required log reduction (6-log) of C. perfringens can be achieved at 55 °C but not at 48 °C or 53 °C. The D-values at all temperatures were higher in meat compared to BHIB while the D-value at 55 °C was higher in non-vacuum compared to vacuum sealed meat. C. perfringens cells were able to recover and grow to pathogenic levels when thermal treatment was unable to achieve the required 6-log reduction. In BHIB, percentage of dead cells increased gradually at 48 °C, 53 °C and 55 °C while an immediate increase (>95%) was observed at 60 °C and 70 °C. These results are important to food safety authorities allowing to set the time-temperature combinations to be used in LTLT cooking to obtain safe meat.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number108540
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Volume320
Early online date28 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2020

Keywords

  • thermal treatment, sius-vide cooking, vacuum sealed meat, D-values, flow cytometry, sub-lethal injury