Behavior of Listeria monocytogenes in Sliced Ready-to-Eat Meat Products Packaged under Vacuum or Modified Atmosphere Conditions.

Journal of food protection

PubMedID: 26408140

Menéndez RA, Rendueles E, Sanz JJ, Capita R, García-Fernández C. Behavior of Listeria monocytogenes in Sliced Ready-to-Eat Meat Products Packaged under Vacuum or Modified Atmosphere Conditions. J Food Prot. 2015;78(10):1891-5.
The objective of this research was to determine the behavior of Listeria monocytogenes in three types of sliced ready-to-eat meat products packaged under vacuum or modified atmosphere conditions and stored at three temperatures. Slices of about 25 g of chorizo (a fermented dry pork sausage), jamón (cured ham), and cecina (a salted, dried beef product) were inoculated with L. monocytogenes NCTC 11994. Slices were packaged in a vacuum or in a modified atmosphere (20% CO2, 80% N2). After packaging, samples were stored for 6 months at three temperatures: 3, 11, or 20°C. Microbiological analyses were performed after 0, 1, 7, 15, 30, 45, 90, and 180 days of storage. The type of meat product, the type of packaging, the temperature, and the day of storage all influenced microbial levels (P < 0. 001). L. monocytogenes counts decreased throughout the course of storage in samples of chorizo (quick decrease) and jamón (gradual decrease). In cecina samples, counts of L. monocytogenes increased from day 0 to day 1 of storage and then remained constant until day 90 of the study. These results may be of use for enhancing the safety of these ready-to-eat meat product types. Additional evaluation of the behavior of L. monocytogenes in cecina is needed.