Submitted to: American Society for Microbiology Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/13/2009
Publication Date: 5/17/2009
Citation: Juneja, V.K., Porto Fett, A.C., Gartner, K., Tufft, L., Luchansky, J.B. 2009. Potential for growth of Clostridium perfringens from spores in scrapple during cooling. American Society for Microbiology Annual Meeting. (P-114).p435.
Technical Abstract: Scrapple is an ethnic food produced/consumed almost exclusively in the Middle Atlantic states of the U.S. It is typically made from ground pork trimmings, seasonings, cornmeal, and flour. This mixture is cooked and then shaped into loaves that are cooled and subsequently stored refrigerated until sliced for frying by consumers or restaurants. Due to the process by which scrapple is manufactured and due to the absence of any published process validation data, we conducted stabilization studies to determine the ability of Clostridium perfringens spores to germinate and grow during exponential cooling of cooked scrapple. Partially cooked scrapple samples (3 g each) were inoculated with a mixture of three strains of C. perfringens spores (NTCC 8238, NCTC 8239, and ATCC 10288), vacuum packaged, and cooked in a circulating water bath, according to the time/temperature parameters (20 min/93.3C) practiced by our cooperating commercial producer. The cooked samples were cooled (2 min) in an ice bath before being transferred to a programmable water bath to cool through the temperature range of 54.4 to 7.2C in 12, 13.5, or 20.8 h to simulate deviations from the target cooling time of 6 h. After cooling, the samples, in duplicate, were analyzed to determine if growth from spores had occurred. The samples were plated onto tryptose-sulfite-cycloserine agar and incubated anaerobically at 37C for 48 h before counting the colonies. Minimal growth (less than 1.0 log) was observed during a 12- or 13.5-h cooling period. However, when the time to achieve 7.2C was extended to 20.8 h, C. perfringens spores germinated and grew from an inoculum of 3.0 log10 to about 7.8 log10 CFU/g. Thus, cooked scrapple must be cooled to 7.2C in 13.5 h or less to guard against the hazards associated with C. perfringens growth from spores. Furthermore, the cooling period could be extended beyond 6 h, but for no more than 13.5 hours (FSIS, Appendix B - Compliance Guidelines for Cooling Heat-Treated Meat and Poultry Products; Stabilization) without posing a food safety hazard from outgrowth of C. perfringens spores during cooling of cooked scrapple and related products.