The effects of cold storage and starvation on the subsequent heat resistance and freeze-thaw resistance of Vibrio vulnificus were studied. Three strains of V. vulnificus were evaluated. Cold stress had no effect on freeze-thaw resistance (P > 0.05). Starvation enhanced freeze-thaw resistance for one strain compared to controls (P < 0.05). V. vulnificus was not heat resistant; control populations were inactivated within 12 min at 47°C. Starvation increased heat tolerance for one strain, but differences were small from a processing perspective (P < 0.05). Cold stress had no effect on heat resistance (P > 0.05). Cold adaptation (holding 4 h at 15°C) enhanced cold temperature (5°C) tolerance. This information will be helpful in the development of methods to minimize V. vulnificus risk.

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