The influence of potassium sorbate on growth of Staphylococcus aureus in bacon was determined. Bacon was manufactured to contain 0 and 40 ppm sodium nitrite with 0.13 and 0.26% potassium sorbate, 40 and 120 ppm sodium nitrite, or neither nitrite nor sorbate. The bacon was inoculated with approximately 1,000 cells of a mixed suspension of five strains of Staphylococcus aureus per gram, vacuum packaged, and stored at 27 and 13 C. Bacon with 0.13 and 0.26% potassium sorbate and no nitrite was most effective in suppressing growth of S. aureus through 14 days of storage at 27 C. When stored at 13 C, bacon containing nitrite and potassium sorbate exhibited lower numbers of staphylococci after 7 days than did the bacon containing potassium sorbate alone.

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