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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Characterization and Interventions for Foodborne Pathogens » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #297845

Title: Survival of Campylobacter species after cryogenic freezing in ground turkey patties treated with polyphosphates

item Gunther, Nereus - Jack
item Rajkowski, Kathleen
item Sommers, Christopher

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/8/2014
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter are responsible for the greatest number of food-borne gastrointestinal disease cases caused by bacteria in the developed world. The primary route for the introduction of Campylobacter is through undercooked poultry or cross-contamination by uncooked poultry material. Polyphosphate marinades were previously shown to enhance Campylobacter survival in poultry exudate. This raised the concern that polyphosphates may interfere with the abilities of intervention technologies to reduce Campylobacter numbers in poultry products. A flash freezing to -80 deg C (-62.2 deg C) intervention technology was investigated to determine its ability to reduce Campylobacter numbers in a common processed poultry product, ground turkey patties, and if polyphosphates interfere with the effectiveness of the intervention. The flash freezing technology was capable of notably reducing the number of Campylobacter cells in the ground turkey patties. Additionally, the polyphosphates had no an effect on the action of the flash freezing intervention.

Technical Abstract: The use of polyphosphate-based marinades in the processing of poultry has been previously shown to increase the survival of Campylobacter species present in the exudates derived from these products. This study investigates the effects that some of the same polyphosphates have on the survival of Campylobacter species within a ground turkey product subjected to cryogenic freezing. Ground turkey patties with two different polyphosphate formulations added in two different concentrations were contaminated with known concentrations of C. jejuni or C. coli. The patties were cryogenically frozen at -80 deg F (-62.2 deg C) with liquid nitrogen vapor and held at -20 deg C for 7 or 33 days after which the number of Campylobacter surviving in the patties was determined. On average the cryogenic freezing resulted in a 2.5 log decrease in the survival of Campylobacter present in the turkey patties. Additionally, the presence of polyphosphates in the turkey patties had no effect on Campylobacter survival up to the maximum allowed concentration (0.5%) for polyphosphates in poultry marinades. Finally it was determined that the added polyphosphates had little effect on the pH of the ground turkey meat, an effect which previously had been implicated in the enhancement of Campylobacter survival due to the presence of polyphosphates.