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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #238904

Title: The occurrence of Listeria monocytogens in retail ready-to-eat meat and poultry products related to the levels of Acetate and Lactate in the products

Author
item Ahmed, Omaima - University Of Tennessee
item Pangloli, Philipus - University Of Georgia
item Hwang, Cheng-an - Andy
item Zivanovic, Svetlana - University Of Tennessee
item Wu, Tao - University Of Tennessee
item D'souza, Doris - University Of Tennessee
item Draughon, F. - University Of Tennessee

Submitted to: Food Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/13/2014
Publication Date: 12/23/2014
Citation: Ahmed, O., Pangloli, P., Hwang, C., Zivanovic, S., Wu, T., D'Souza, D., Draughon, F.A. 2014. The occurrence of Listeria monocytogens in retail ready-to-eat meat and poultry products related to the levels of Acetate and Lactate in the products. Food Control. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2014.12.015.

Interpretive Summary: Listeria monocytogenes is a psychrotrophic foodborne pathogen that has been isolated from ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and poultry products. This study quantified the amounts of acetic and lactic acid in retail RTE meat and poultry products that had been previously tested for the presence of L. monocytogenes. The purpose was to correlate the concentrations of the acids to the presence of L. monocytogenes in these products. Product extracts were prepared by blending to determine concentrations of the acids. We found that higher concentrations of both acids were associated with low occurrence of L. monocytogenes in RTE meat and poultry products. Results indicate that the addition of acetate and lactate in RTE meat and poultry products as antimicrobials is helpful as part of an overall L. monocytogenes control program.

Technical Abstract: Listeria monocytogenes is a psychrotrophic foodborne pathogen that has been isolated from ready-to-eat meat and poultry products (RTE meats). The purpose of this study was to quantify lactate and acetate levels in retail RTE meats that had been tested in a previous study for the presence of L. monocytogenes to correlate the occurrence of L. monocytogenes to the acid levels. Products were extracted after blending 50 g of each sample with de-ionized water, and the extracts were quantified for lactate and acetate using HPLC. In general, the concentrations of both acids in samples varied with product types and manufacturers (p less than 0.05). The mean concentrations of lactate and acetate ranged from 10.71 to 23.03 mg/g (1.07-2.30%) and 0.66 to 1.56 mg/g (0.066-0.156%), respectively. The mean concentrations of lactate and acetate in L. monocytogenes-positive samples were 1.13-24.05 mg/g (0.11-2.4%) and 0-5.74 mg/g (0-0.57%), respectively. Results of this study indicate that RTE meats containing low levels of lactate were more likely to be positive for L. monocytogenes while samples with higher concentrations of lactate and acetate were less likely to be positive for the pathogen. Therefore, the addition of lactate and acetate as antimicrobials is helpful as part of an overall Listeria control program. However, a rigorous sanitation and an effective HACCP program are also essential for control of Listeria.