Antilisterial Properties of Marinades during Refrigerated Storage and Microwave Oven Reheating against Post-Cooking Inoculated Chicken Breast Meat

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Direct inquiries to author Sofos (E-mail: john.sofos@colostate.edu).

Abstract

This study evaluated growth of Listeria monocytogenes inoculated on cooked chicken meat with different marinades and survival of the pathogen as affected by microwave oven reheating. During aerobic storage at 7 °C, on days 0, 1, 2, 4, and 7, samples were reheated by microwave oven (1100 W) for 45 or 90 s and analyzed microbiologically. L. monocytogenes counts on nonmarinated (control) samples increased (P < 0.05) from 2.7 ± 0.1 (day-0) to 6.9 ± 0.1 (day-7) log CFU/g during storage. Initial (day-0) pathogen counts of marinated samples were <0.5 log CFU/g lower than those of the control, irrespective of marinating treatment. At 7 d of storage, pathogen levels on samples marinated with tomato juice were not different (P ≥ 0.05; 6.9 ± 0.1 log CFU/g) from those of the control, whereas for samples treated with the remaining marinades, pathogen counts were 0.7 (soy sauce) to 2.0 (lemon juice) log CFU/g lower (P < 0.05) than those of the control. Microwave oven reheating reduced L. monocytogenes counts by 1.9 to 4.1 (45 s) and >2.4 to 5.0 (90 s) log CFU/g. With similar trends across different marinates, the high levels of L. monocytogenes survivors found after microwave reheating, especially after storage for more than 2 d, indicate that length of storage and reheating time need to be considered for safe consumption of leftover cooked chicken.

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