<OL> <LI> To determine parameters for the application of alternative processing technologies in combination with antimicrobial treatments that are necessary to provide acceptable control (i.e., a 99.999 percent reduction in viable populations) of foodborne pathogenic microorganisms in fruit juices<LI> To determine the efficacy of antimicrobial agents for the control of spoilage microorganisms in fruit juices. <LI> To determine the efficacy of alternative processing technologies and/or antimicrobial treatments to control pathogenic bacteria in ready-to-eat or not-further-processed meat and poultry products. <LI> To identify one or more high hydrostatic pressure process schedules that result in the inactivation of noroviruses. <LI> To validate murine norovirus-1 (MNV-1) as a surrogate for human noroviruses, specifically Norwalk virus 8FIIb
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Outbreaks of foodborne disease have been linked to contaminated fruit juices and ready-to eat meats, and spoilage of shelf-stable juices by heat and acid-tolerant bacteria has caused loss of product. The purpose of this study is to improve the application of preservatives and alternative technologies to improve juice and meat safety, and to improve the use of preservatives to prevent juice spoilage. Identification of appropriate antimicrobial levels in combination with alternative processing technologies for the treatment of fruit juices may provide juice processors with a economical means of complying with federal juice HACCP requirements. Determination of pathogen survival in osmotically dehydrated fruit and factors that influence survival in such products, may encourage processing changes and prevent foodborne illness associated with consumption of related products. Finally, identification of appropriate antimicrobila agents for prevention of juice spoilage may allow fruit juice processors the reduce the incidence of product loss due to spoilage caused by Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris.
APPROACH: Objective 1. Apple cider and orange juice will be inoculated with disease-causing bacteria (i.e., Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella spp.) to result in a very highly contaminated product. Contaminated juices will be treated with food grade preservatives and then processed using technologies that are alternatives thermal pasteurization (i.e., ultraviolet light and high pressure.) Combinations of preservatives and technologies that result in at least a 99.999 percent reduction in bacterial populations will be identified and recommendations to improve the safety of juices will be delivered. Objective 2. Shelf-stable apple and tomato juices will be treated with a number of chemical preservatives to inhibit or inactivate the spoilage bacterium, Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris. Preservatives with high antibacterial activity at low dose will be identified. Objective 3. Ready-to-eat meats and poultry products will be inoculated with the disease-causing bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes. Contaminated meat will be treated with food grade preservatives and then processed using technologies that are alternatives thermal pasteurization (i.e., ultraviolet light and high pressure.) Combinations of preservatives and technologies that result in elimination of viable bacteria will be identified.