A membrane transfer procedure previously described was used to study the possible role of sublethally injured bacteria in the keeping quality of retail pasteurized milk. Trypticase soy broth (TSB) was used as nonselective medium and TSB plus NaCl at pH 6.0 (TSBS 6.0), as the selective medium inhibitory to injured organisms. In pasteurized milk at early stages of storage, colony counts on the latter medium were much lower than on the former. Subsequent transfer of the TSBS 6.0 filters to fresh TSB and further incubation usually increased the counts to about the initial TSB range. Generally the organisms presumed injured and subsequently recovered were the same types as those considered uninjured. They were mainly streptococci and micrococci that produced only slow changes in litmus milk at 5 C, so they are of doubtful significance in the shelf life of retail milk at refrigerator temperatures.

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