The thermal resistance of Listeria monocytogenes associated with a milkborne outbreak of listeriosis was determined in buffer and whole milk. Thermal resistance was stable over a 2-year period and could not be altered by selecting heat-stressed survivors. The rate of inactivation was linear and did not differ significantly between pH 5.5 and 9.0. When portions of whole milk containing 1 × 105 cells of L. monocytogenes/ml were heated at seven temperatures from 52.2 to 74.4°C, the D-values ranged from 1683.7 to 0.7 s, respectively. The zD-value was 6.3°C. The D-value at 71.7°C was 0.9 s. L. monocytogenes would not survive the pasteurization process.

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