Detection of Listeria in food products is often limited by performance of enrichment media used to support growth of Listeria to detectable levels. In this study, growth curves were generated using healthy and heat-injured Listeria monocytogenes strain F5069 in three nonselective and five selective enrichment broths. Nonselective enrichment media included the current Food and Drug Administration Bacteriological Analytical Manual Listeria enrichment broth base (BAM), Listeria repair broth (LRB), and Trypticase soy broth. Selective enrichment media included BAM with selective agents and LRB with selective agents, BCM L. monocytogenes preenrichment broth, Fraser broth, and UVM-modified Listeria enrichment broth. The Gompertz equation was used to model the growth of L. monocytogenes. Gompertz parameters were used to calculate exponential growth rate, lag-phase duration (LPD), generation time, maximum population density (MPD), and time required for repair of injured cells. Statistical differences (P < 0.05) in broth performance were noted for LPD and MPD when healthy and injured cells were inoculated into the broths. With the exception of Fraser broth, there were no significant differences in the time required for the repair of injured cells. Results indicate that the distinction between selective and nonselective broths in their ability to grow healthy Listeria and to repair sublethally injured cells is not solely an elementary issue of presence or absence of selective agents.

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