The ability of a bacteriocin-producing Pediococcus acidilactici to control postprocessing Listeria monocytogenes contamination of frankfurters was examined. Bacteriocin-producing P. acidilactici JD1–23 or its plasmid-cured derivative JD-M and a five-strain composite of L. monocytogenes were inoculated onto fully processed frankfurters. Under normal storage conditions at 4°C under vacuum, L. monocytogenes without added pediococci grew from an initial level of 104 CFU/g to a final level of 106 CFU/g over 60 d, with a lag time of 20–30 d. Under the same conditions, high levels (107 CFU/g) of either pediococcal strain inhibited growth of L. monocytogenes up to 60 d, although no reduction of cells occurred. With low levels of pediococci (103–104 CFU/g), Listeria grew, although the lag time was increased, and a bacteriocin effect was observed on frankfurters inoculated with JD1–23.

In additional experiments done at 4°C and 15°C under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, levels of 107–108 CFU/g of either pediococci were observed to control Listeria growth on frankfurters at 15°C under anaerobic conditions for up to 15 d. At 4°C under aerobic conditions, L. monocytogenes grew on frankfurters inoculated with JD-M, while JD1–23 inhibited growth of the organism up to 30 d. At 15°C under aerobic conditions, L. monocytogenes grew in the presence of either pediococci, although a bacteriocin effect was indicated. Package atmosphere was observed to affect L. monocytogenes growth on this product.

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Author notes

1Published as Paper No. 9519, Journal Series Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station, Lincoln, NE 68583-0704.

2Current Affiliation: Department of Food Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7624.

3Department of Food Science and Technology.

4Department of Animal Science.