Submitted to: Food Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/3/2007
Publication Date: 9/12/2007
Citation: Velugoti, P.R., Rajagopal, L., Juneja, V.K., Thippareddi, H. 2007. Use of Calcium, Potassium, and Sodium Lactates to Control Germination and Outgrowth of Clostridium perfringens Spores during Chilling of Injected Pork. Food Microbiology. 24(7-8):687-694. Interpretive Summary: Clostridium perfringens remains a major cause of foodborne illness worldwide and is a continuing concern to the food service industry. Inadequate rate and extent of cooling of cooked meat products have been implicated in numerous outbreaks of foodborne disease. Thus, there was a need to determine the cooling times and temperatures for cooked meat products to remain pathogen-free and to provide data for performing risk assessment on cooked meat. We determined that cooling times for marinated ground pork products after heat processing can be extended to 21 h by incorporation of the antimicrobial ingredients, sodium lactate, potassium lactate, or calcium lactate at more than or equal to 2.0% in the formulation to reduce the potential risk of C. perfringens germination and outgrowth. These findings will be of immediate use to retail food service operations and regulatory agencies to guard against the pathogen in cooked pork products.
Technical Abstract: Inhibition of Clostridium perfringens spore germination and outgrowth by calcium (CaL), potassium (KL) or sodium (NaL) lactate in injected pork during abusive chilling regimes was investigated. Lactates (Ca, K, or Na) were incorporated into injected pork at various concentrations (1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and 4.8%), along with a no-lactate control. A three- strain spore cocktail of C. perfringens spores was inoculated into the product (injected pork) to obtain a final spore population of ca. 2.5 log CFU/g. Chilling of injected pork (control) from 54.4 to 7.2C within 6.5, 9, 12, 15, 18 or 21-h exponential chill rates resulted in an increase of 0.49, 2.40, 4.02, 5.03, 6.24 and 6.30 log CFU/g of C. perfringens populations, respectively. Addition of CaL at 1.0% or KL and NaL at greater than or equal to 2.0% to injected pork controlled germination and outgrowth of C. perfringens to less than 1 log CFU/g, thus meeting the USDA-FSIS performance standard for stabilization of cooked, RTE meat and poultry products. However, extension of chilling rates beyond 9.0 h (up to 21-h) required incorporation of CaL (greater than or equal to 2.0%) and KL or NaL (greater than or equal to 3.0%) to meet the USDA-FSIS stabilization performance standard. In general, CaL was more effective compared to KL or NaL for all the chilling regimes tested in reducing the potential risk of C. perfringens germination and outgrowth in injected pork.