Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #235317

Title: Survival of Listeria monocytogenes on slices of turkey bacon during extended storage at 4 Degrees and 10 Degrees C

item Porto-Fett, Anna
item Call, Jeffrey
item Shoyer, Brad
item Luchansky, John

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/17/2009
Publication Date: 5/21/2009
Citation: Griffith, E., Porto Fett, A.C., Oser, A., Call, J.E., Shoyer, B.A., Luchansky, J.B. 2009. Survival of Listeria monocytogenes on slices of turkey bacon during extended storage at 4 Degrees and 10 Degrees C. [abstract]. American Society for Microbiology's Annual Meeting. p.1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: We evaluated the fate of Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) on the surface of fully-cooked, cured turkey bacon, an increasingly popular product that on a per ounce (28 g) basis is generally lower in fat (ca. 1.0 g), sodium (ca. 200 mg), and calories (40 calories) than its traditional counterpart, that being cured pork bacon (ca. 10 g fat, 560 mg sodium, and 140 calories; all per 28 g). In August of 2008, a variety of RTE meats, including turkey products, were associated with a large recall in North America that resulted in 43 illnesses and 22 deaths due to listeriosis. Thus, the objective of the present study was to monitor the fate of Lm on a fully-cooked turkey bacon product. In each of 3 trials turkey bacon from a commercial manufacturer was removed from the original package and placed on styrofoam trays in sets of 6 overlapping slices. The top face of each overlapping slice of the set was separately inoculated with 50 ul of a five-strain cocktail of Lm (ca. 3.0 log CFU/g). The inoculum was distributed across the top surface of each slice with the aid of a sterile plastic spreader before the overlapping sets of 6 slices were placed into nylon-polyethylene bags that were subsequently vacuum sealed, and stored at 10 degrees and 4 degrees C for up to 34 and 45 days, respectively. In general, levels of the pathogen remained essentially the same over the projected shelf life at both temperatures tested. The fact the pathogen numbers remained relatively unchanged during extended storage suggests that in a low-probability event of post-process contamination, the turkey bacon evaluated herein would not provide a favorable environment for subsequent outgrowth of Lm during storage at either refrigeration or mildly abusive temperatures. Moreover, subsequent reheating as preferred by most consumers should further ensure the safety of this type of product.