Foods that are extensively handled during preparation and stored without refrigeration are often associated with staphylococcal food poisoning. This problem is more confounding when contaminating strains belong to the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) group. In this study, we investigated the survivability of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) in two different seafood matrices at different storage conditions. MRSA was inoculated at 6 and 3 log cfu /g levels into all sample groups comprised of peeled shrimp ( Parapeneopsis stylifera ) stored at -20 o C, Bombay duck ( Harpadon nehereus ) stored in ice and dried Bombay duck stored at room temperature. The populations of MRSA in frozen peeled shrimp showed 1.52 log reduction in 6 log cfu /g inoculated sample, while in 3 log cfu/g inoculated sample, the counts remained more or less stable after 60 days of storage. In fresh Bombay duck inoculated with 6 log cfu /g and stored in ice for 18 days, MRSA count decreased by 2.75 log cfu /g . In contrast, MRSA counts remained stable in 3 log cfu /g inoculated Bombay duck stored in ice. However, the total viable count (TVC) in ice-stored Bombay duck increased by 3.02 log cfu /g over 16 days of storage. In dried Bombay duck stored at room temperature, MRSA count declined by 3.27 log cfu /g in 6 log cfu /g inoculated sample and by 0.91 log cfu/g in 3 log cfu /g inoculated sample. The results suggest that the survival of methicillin-resistant S. aureus depends on the temperature of storage and the inoculum size. In our study, MRSA exhibited better survival when inoculated at 3 log cfu /g irrespective of seafood matrix and storage temperature.

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