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Elimination of Listeria monocytogenes on Hotdogs by Infrared Surface Treatment

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  • Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

Abstract

ABSTRACT:  The objective of this research was to develop an infrared pasteurization process with automatic temperature control for inactivation of surface-contaminated Listeria monocytogenes on ready-to-eat meats such as hotdogs. The pasteurization system contained 4 basic elements: an infrared emitter, a hotdog roller, an infrared sensor, and a temperature controller. The infrared sensor was used to monitor the surface temperature of hotdogs while the infrared emitter, modulated by a power controller, was used as a heating source. The surface temperature of hotdogs was increased to set points (70, 75, 80, or 85 °C), and maintained for bacterial kill. The infrared surface pasteurization was evaluated using hotdogs that were surface-inoculated with a 4-strain L. monocytogenes cocktail to an average initial inoculum of 7.32 log (CFU/g). On the average 1.0, 2.1, 3.0, or 5.3 log-reduction in L. monocytogenes was observed after the surface temperature of hotdogs was increased to 70, 75, 80, or 85 °C, respectively. Holding the sample temperature led to additional bacterial inactivation. With a 3 min holding at 80 °C or 2 min at 85 °C, a total of 6.4 or 6.7 logs of L. monocytogenes were inactivated. This study demonstrated that the infrared surface pasteurization was effective in inactivating L. monocytogenes in RTE meats.

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