Commercially prepared frankfurters were formulated with and without ~1.4% potassium lactate and 0.1% sodium diacetate and were subsequently processed in cellulose casings coated with and without nisin (~50,000 IU per square inch of internal surface area) to control the outgrowth of Listeria monocytogenes during refrigerated storage. The frankfurters were inoculated with ~5 log CFU per package of a five-strain mixture of L. monocytogenes and then vacuum sealed before being stored at 4° C for 60 to 90 days. Surviving organisms were recovered and enumerated by rinsing each package with 18 ml of sterile 0.1% peptone water and plating onto MOX selective agar. The data for each of two trials were averaged. In packages that contained frankfurters formulated with potassium lactate and sodium diacetate and prepared in nisin-coated casings, L. monocytogenes levels decreased by 1.15 log CFU per package after 90 days of storage. L. monocytogenes levels decreased by 0.95 log CFU per package in frankfurters that were prepared in casings that were not coated with nisin. In packages of frankfurters that were formulated without potassium lactate and sodium diacetate and prepared in nisin-coated casings, L. monocytogenes levels decreased by 0.88 log CFU per package after 15 days of storage but then increased appreciablythereafter over a 60-day period of refrigerated storage. There was also an appreciable increase in pathogen numbers during 60 days of storage in otherwise similar frankfurters formulated without potassium lactate and sodium diacetate prepared in casings that were not coated with nisin. These data confirm that potassium lactate and sodium diacetate display listeriostatic activity as an ingredient of commercial frankfurters. These data also establish that cellulose casings coated with nisin display only moderate antilisterial activity in vacuum-sealed packages of commercially prepared frankfurters during storage at 4° C.

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Author notes

Mention of brand or firm names does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture over others of a similar nature not mentioned.

Portions of this research were presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Association for Food Protection, New Orleans, La., 10 to 13 August 2003 (5).