Heat resistance of Listeria monocytogenes strains V7 and Scott A in chicken gravy and changes in heat resistance during refrigerated storage were studied. After chicken gravy was made, it was cooled to 40°C, inoculated with 105 CFU L. monocytogenes per ml of gravy, and then stored at 7°C for 10 d. Gravy was heated at 50, 55, 60, and 65°C immediately after inoculation and after 1, 3, 5, and 10 d of refrigerated storage. The D values for strains Scott A and V7 in gravy heated at 50°C at day 0 were 119 and 195 min and at day 10 they were 115 and 119 min, respectively, whereas at 65°C comparable values at day 0 were 0.48 and 0.19 min and at day 10 they were 0.014 and 0.007 min. Heat resistance (expressed as D values) was greater at day 0 than at the end of refrigerated storage. The z values ranged from 3.41 to 6.10°C and were highest at the early stages of chill storage and then decreased at the later stages. Strain V7 was more heat resistant than Scott A at 50°C. Strain Scott A always had a higher z value than did strain V7 at the same storage interval. A heat treatment greater than the 4-D process recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture was required to inactivate the large numbers of L. monocytogenes that developed in chicken gravy during refrigerated storage.

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Author notes

1Current address: Department of Food Science and Technology, 122 Vivian Hall, 2121 Fyffe Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1097.