Numbers of Staphylococcus aureus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Penicillium expansum in artificially contaminated pasta declined exponentially during storage at room temperature; corresponding D values ranged from 18–21 days, 40–45 days and 130–160 days. In contrast to the rapid death kinetics of Aspergillus repens and Escherichia coli, Streptococcus faecium survived after 180 days of storage. These results suggest that streptococci are more reliable than E. coli as indicators of fecal contamination in pasta. Detection of Salmonella infantis and Salmonella typhimurium after 360 days indicates that prolonged storage of pasta is not effective for decontamination of infected products.

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Author notes

1Health and Welfare Canada.

2Agriculture Canada.