VALIDATION OF THE EFFECT OF INTERVENTIONS AND PROCESSES ON PERSISTENCE OF PATHOGENS ON FOODS
Location: Food Safety and Intervention Technologies
Title: The effect of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on the fate of pathogens in specialty and lower fat/reduced sodium cheese
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2010
Publication Date: July 12, 2010
Citation: Luchansky,J., Tomasula,P., VanHekkan,D., Porto-Fett,A. 2010. The effect of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on the fate of pathogens in specialty and lower fat/reduced sodium cheese [abstract]. American Dairy Society Symposium. Denver,CO. p. 1.
Although the United States maintains one of the most abundant and wholesome food supplies in the world, based on the nature and number of recent illnesses and recalls, we should continue to improve our ability to recover, characterize, and control pathogenic microbes in foods, especially for specialty/ethnic products such as lower fat/reduced salt cheese. Pathogens of primary concern would include Listeria monocytogenes, Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus. Various intrinsic and extrinsic factors can determine whether or not these microbes die, grow, or merely survive in cheese. A variety of biological (e.g., bacteriophage, bacteriocins), physical (e.g., high pressure processing, pasteurization), and chemical (e.g., organic acids, smoke, oxidizing agents) interventions have been used to better manage pathogenic microbes in cheese. However, salt, moisture, and fat content, as well as temperature, quite arguably have the most significant effect on the fate of pathogens in foods. The ability to optimize salt and fat levels to maintain product safety/quality without causing untoward effects on the attendant sensory properties of lower fat/reduced salt cheese will be the focus of this presentation. With a trend towards consumption of cheese that are more convenient, as well as lower in salt, fat, and preservatives, the sole barriers against microbial contamination, persistence, and/or proliferation may be adherence to Good Manufacturing Practices, formulation, and refrigeration, coupled with enhanced awareness.