Cornstarch-containing plastic films could be used to package foods if the presence of cornstarch had no adverse effect on food safety. The survival of pathogenic bacteria on meat samples that had been wrapped with cornstarch-containing plastic film was evaluated. Cornstarch-containing polyethylene film and control polyethylene film were used to cover lean beef and bologna that had been inoculated with Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus cereus. Additional samples were prepared in which inoculum was applied to the outer surface of plastic-covered meat. Samples were stored at 4 and 21°C. Bacterial recovery from meat samples indicated that survival was not enhanced by the presence of cornstarch. No migration through polyethylene film or cornstarch-containing polyethylene film into lean meat or bologna was observed. These results indicated that, from a microbiological viewpoint, cornstarch-containing polyethylene film could be successfully used to package foods.
Published as paper No. 19779 of the contribution series of the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station based on research conducted under Project 18–56 supported by Hatch Funds and by Funds from the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, Crookston, MN.