This study investigated the growth and survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and aerobic bacteria (AB) in air (AP), vacuum (VP) and modified atmosphere packed (MAP) with sliced meat stored at 4, 6, 8 and 12°C. A slight reduction in the numbers of E. coli O157:H7 was observed after 21 days at 4°C in the VP and MAP sliced meat while significant (p<0.05) growth of bacterium was observed with storage tem-perature increased from 6 to 12°C in all packed sliced meats. Growth of AB was observed during storage from 4 to 12°C in all packed sliced meats. Lag phase duration of E. coli O157:H7 and AB at 4-12°C were significantly (p<0.05) higher in the AP sliced meat than VP and MAP. The growth rates ofE. coli O157:H7 and AB on the sliced meat stored at 6-12°C were significantly (p<0.05) higher than those of E. coli O157:H7 stored at 4°C. Temperature control is very important to ensure no growth of E. coli O157:H7 on the sliced meat with modification of storage atmosphere.
Key words: Escherichia coli O157:H7, aerobic bacteria, meat, vacuum packaging, modified atmosphere packaging, temperature.
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