Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/19/2015
Publication Date: 7/27/2015
Citation: Gunther, N.W., Sites, J.E., Sommers, C.H. 2015. The effects of high pressure treatments on C. jejuni in ground poultry products containing polyphosphate additives. Journal of Food Protection. 94(9):2297-2302.
Interpretive Summary: In the developed world Campylobacter are responsible for the largest number of food-borne gastrointestinal disease cases annually. Uncooked poultry and the cross- contamination of other foods by uncooked poultry products are the primary routes for introduction of Campylobacter to consumers. Campylobacter have demonstrated greater survival in poultry products when polyphosphate marinades are utilized. This polyphosphate enhanced survival raised the concern that polyphosphates have the potential for interfering with the abilities of intervention technologies, designed to reduce Campylobacter numbers, to function properly. High pressure is a potential intervention technology for the reduction of Campylobacter in poultry products. Our research showed that pressure treatment of polyphosphate containing ground turkey resulted in the same reduction of contaminating Campylobacter as was seen when the same pressure treatments were applied to ground turkey without added polyphosphates. This suggests that polyphosphate usage in ground poultry products will not reduce the effectiveness of high pressure against Campylobacter. Of additional note, cold storage (4 degrees C) of the pressure treated ground poultry with or without added polyphosphates dramatically increased the reduction of Campylobacter bacteria numbers compared to either pressure treatment or cold storage alone. This information is useful to the food industry in the design of intervention strategies to control Campylobacter.
Technical Abstract: Marinades containing polyphosphates have been previously implicated in the enhanced survival of Campylobacter spp. in poultry product exudates. The enhanced Campylobacter survival was attributed primarily to the ability of some polyphosphates to change the pH of the exudate to one more amenable to Campylobacter. In this study a ground poultry product contaminated with a six strain Campylobacter jejuni cocktail was utilized to determine if the efficiency of high hydrostatic pressure treatments was impacted by the presence of commonly utilized polyphosphates. Two different polyphosphates used at two different concentrations failed to demonstrate any significant effect on the C. jejuni inactivation efficiency of the high pressure treatment. However, storage at 4degrees C of the ground poultry samples containing C. jejuni after high pressure treatment appeared to provide a synergistic effect on Campylobacter inactivation. High pressure treatment in conjunction with seven days of storage at 4 degrees C resulted in a mean reduction in C. jejuni survival that was significantly larger than the sum of the individual reductions caused by high pressure and 4 degrees C storage when applied separately.