|KROFT, BRENDA - Orise Fellow|
|BOLTEN, SAMANTHA - Cornell University|
|MICCALLEF, SHIRLEY - University Of Maryland|
|Luo, Yaguang - Sunny|
Submitted to: Food Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/25/2022
Publication Date: 3/1/2022
Citation: Kroft, B., Gu, G., Bolten, S., Miccallef, S.A., Luo, Y., Millner, P.D., Nou, X. 2022. Effects of temperature abuse on the growth and survival of Listeria monocytogenes on a wide variety of whole and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables during simulated storage. Food Control. 137:108919. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2022.108919.
Interpretive Summary: In responding to industry call to extend current knowledge of Listeria monocytogenes growth to a broad range of fresh produce, ARS scientists assessed the survival and growth of this foodborne pathogen on 20 types whole and fresh-cut produce representing a broad range of fresh produce categories. No growth of this foodborne pathogen was fund on the tested whole products, but significant growth on various fresh-cut products was observed, especially under temperature abuse conditions. The data generated using a broad range of fresh produce is useful for the fresh produce industry in L. monocytogenes risk assessment for different commodities.
Technical Abstract: Twenty types of fruits and vegetables representing a broad range of fresh produce categories were assessed for the growth potential and growth kinetics of L. monocytogenes under conditions reflecting commercial practices for storage and distribution and conditions reflecting sustained temperature abuse. Whole and fresh-cut produces were obtained from a variety of commercial sources and inoculated with L. monocytogenes strains to observe the survival and growth up to 25 days, depending on the projected commercial storage or retail shelf life. L. monocytogenes populations showed a sustained decrease on all tested whole fruits, including avocado, blueberry, grape, mango, peach, green pepper, and tomato. Under “normal” storage conditions (defined as those reflective of common commercial practices), significant L. monocytogenes growth was only observed on fresh-cut cantaloupe (~0.8 log) and fresh-cut mango (~0.6 log). Exposure to temperature abuse conditions did not change the overall trends of L. monocytogenes survival on the whole fruits but resulted in significant growth on several fresh-cut products, including celery, cauliflower, mango, onion, romaine lettuce, and cantaloupe. L. monocytogenes inoculated on certain products (eg. fresh-cut carrot and whole peach) seemed to lose cutivability rapidly but retained viability as judged by the maintenance of cell membrane integrity.