Survival of Streptococcus pyogenes on foods and food contact surfaces

Steven C. Ingham, Rishi K. Wadhera, Chun Him Chu, Michael D. DeVita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Streptococcus pyogenes causes septic sore throat in millions of Americans each year and may be transmitted from food handlers to food contact surfaces, foods, and consumers. This study examined the individual survival of six S. pyogenes strains on food contact surfaces (plastic and ceramic plates, plastic cups, and stainless steel utensils) held at 21°C for 2 h and on tomatoes stored aerobically at 21°C for 2 h and at 5°C for 24 h. Survival of a cocktail of the six S. pyogenes strains was also evaluated on vacuum-packaged ready-to-eat meats and cheeses held at 21°C for 8 h and at 5°C for 24 h. Populations generally did not change on tomatoes, cheeses, or beef bologna; however, there were small (0.1 to 0.7 log CPU) but statistically significant decreases (P < 0.05) in average S. pyogenes populations on turkey luncheon meat and beef summer sausage stored for 8 h at 21°C and on beef summer sausage stored for 24 h at 5°C. On food contact surfaces, average populations either decreased slightly (P ≥ 0.05) or remained constant, with the exception of three strains that significantly decreased in number on ceramic plates (P < 0.05; average decreases, 0.3 log CPU). Results of this study suggest the importance of preventing the contamination of foods and food contact surfaces with S. pyogenes by infected workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1159-1163
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Food Protection
Volume69
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes

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