Four commercially pasteurized liquid egg products were individually inoculated with Listeria monocytogenes, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Aeromonas hydrophila. They were unsalted whole egg blend, unsalted egg white, 5% NaCl whole egg blend, and 10% NaCl egg yolk. The inoculated samples and uninoculated controls were held at 2, 6.7, and 12.8°C (temperature abuse) for 14 d. Psychrotropic pathogen growth or survival risks in the unsalted and NaCl supplemented eggs were Y. enterocolitica > A. hydrophila > L. monocytogenes, and L. monocytogenes > Y. enterocolitica > A. hydrophila, respectively. Y. enterocolitica produced delayed (≥4 d) growth responses in unsalted eggs held at ≤6.7°C but was inhibited by ≥5% NaCl at all three holding temperatures. L. monocytogenes growth was prevented at ≤6.7°C in the unsalted and NaCl supplemented eggs. The organism rapidly increased in the temperature abused 5% NaCl whole egg blend. L. monocytogenes and A. hydrophila were inactivated in the unsalted egg white and NaCl supplemented eggs, respectively. Psychrotropic pathogen behavior was unaffected by the competitive growth of indigenous spoilage microflora including pseudomonads, Serratia spp., and NaCl tolerant micrococci. Properly refrigerated and hygienically handled pasteurized liquid eggs are microbiologically safe against a broad range of psychrotropic pathogen strains.

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