Effect of Refrigerated and Frozen Storage on the Survival of Campylobacter jejuni in Cooked Chicken Meat Breast



Abstract:  This experimental work aimed to examine the survivability of Campylobacter jejuni in cooked chicken breast under several conditions: storage for 1, 3, and 7 d at refrigerated temperatures (4 °C) and for 20 d at frozen temperatures (−18 °C). In addition, storage at ambient temperature (26 to 28 °C) was involved. Chicken samples were inoculated with a mixed culture of C. jejuni strains (ATCC: 29428 and 33219) of known concentrations (50 and 500 CFU/g). Bacterial cells were recovered and enumerated using standard procedure (Preston method). Bacteria were not detected in the majority of samples stored at ambient temperature. Refrigeration reduced survivals in 95, 90, and 77.5% for samples inoculated with 500 CFU/g and kept for 1, 3, and 7 d, respectively. The maximum reduction reached 1 log10 cycle for all refrigeration durations. It was observed that bacteria died in 17.5% of samples kept for 7 d at 4 °C. However, survivors in samples inoculated with 50 CFU/g were not detected in 50, 65, and 55% of samples kept for 1, 3, and 7 d, respectively. Freezing rendered survivors not detectable in 70% of samples inoculated with 50 CFU/g, while survived viable counts were reduced in 92.5% of samples inoculated with 500 CFU/g. These findings suggested that C. jejuni could be killed or just sublethally injured with or without reduction in viable counts under the investigated storage temperatures, which may indicate the ability of this bacterium to survive in chicken meat stored under refrigerated and frozen conditions.