Crab meat packaged in plastic (polypropylene, Fisher) jars was sterilized, cooled, and inoculated with approximately 103 cells/g each of Salmonella typhimurium and Pseudomonas fragi. Inoculated samples were packaged either under air or a commercial modified atmosphere (MA) gas mix containing 50% CO2/10% O2/balance proprietary. These samples were stored at 7 and 11°C. At 0, 2, 4, and 6 d after inoculation, three samples per treatment at each temperature were tested for populations of inoculum species. S. typhimurium did not grow under either atmosphere at 7°C but grew under air and MA at 11 °C. MA-storage slowed the growth of both S. typhimurium and P. fragi at 11°C, although growth of S. typhimurium was more severely inhibited. Use of 50% CO2/10% O2/balance proprietary MA-storage may greatly extend the shelf life of crab meat, but in the absence of proper refrigeration, it cannot be relied upon to eliminate the risk of salmonellosis.

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Author notes

1Currently affiliated with Department of Applied Microbiology and Food Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N OWO. (306) 966-5027

2Currently affiliated with West Chester State College, West Chester, PA 19380.

Approved for publication by the Director of the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station as manuscript No. 89-21-3426.