Impact of different storage factors on the survivability of Campylobacter jejuni in turkey meat


  • Editor: George Mendz

Correspondence: Viktoria Atanassova, Institute for Food Quality and Safety, Centre for Food Science, University of Veterinary Medicine, Bischofscholer Damm 15, Hanover 30173, Germany. Tel.:+49 0 511 856 7517; fax:+49 0 511 856 7694; e-mail:


Campylobacter jejuni is often prevalent in turkey and poultry, but the effects of storage temperatures and storage periods and the interruption of the cooling chain on its survival have not been evaluated so far. In this study, 700 samples of turkey meat were artificially contaminated by inoculating their surface with 103 CFU of C. jejuni per sample, wrapped in airtight cellophane bags, and stored under different chilling and freezing conditions for various storage periods; this was followed by analysis of the cultures. Subsequent to incubation at 25°C for 48 h, C. jejuni was reisolated in only 7% of the samples. When the samples were stored under refrigerator conditions at 4°C, the organism was reisolated in 42% of the samples after 1 week, and in 28% of the samples after 2 weeks. The recovery rates in the samples that had been stored frozen at −20°C without interruption of the cooling chain were 68% after 2 weeks and 24% after 4 weeks. Different storage conditions were simulated in order to examine the impact of an interruption of the cooling chain on the survival of Campylobacter.