Title: Effect of storage temperature and cooking time on viability of Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli 0157:H7 in/on goetta
Authors: Porto Fett AC, Pierre J, Shoyer BA, Luchansky JB
Journal: J Food Saf
Accepted date: 2013 Feb 11
Interpretive summary: Goetta is a partially-cooked loaf of meat/mush that is widely popular in the greater Cincinnati area of the United States, where it is especially enjoyed as a breakfast item. There have been no reported recalls or illnesses associated with goetta, presumably because relatively little of this product is produced/consumed and presumably because goetta has limited geographic distribution/availability. However, based on its composition and anticipated refrigerated shelf life of 2 to 4 months, as well as based on consumer handling, storing, and cooking practices, we deemed it necessary to determine if goetta provides a favorable environment for persistence/growth of two of the most prevalent and deadly foodborne pathogens, namely Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli O157:H7. Although these pathogens may be eliminated during cooking/processing, if present, they can be re-introduced onto the surface of goetta if the finished product is exposed to the food processing environment prior to packaging and/or if after being opened the finished product is mishandled or left uncovered at retail or within a consumers refrigerator. Our data confirmed that L. monocytogenes grew very well at 4 deg C, increasing from about 10 to about 100 million cells over the 3-month storage period. E. coli O157:H7 did not grow at 4 deg C as expected. However, when goetta was inoculated and then stored at 12 deg C to simulate the temperature abuse likely to be encountered in a consumers refrigerator, both L. monocytogenes and E. coli O157:H7 increased in numbers from about 10 to about 100 million cells within 1 month. The good news is that cooking for the recommended time of 6 minutes per side on an electric skillet at the recommended cooking temperature of 176 deg C destroyed more than 100,000 cells of both of these pathogens. Thus, our data highlight the importance of proper storage and cooking of specialty/ethnic products such as goetta to extend shelf life and ensure wholesomeness.
Publication date: 2013 May