Effect of dehydrated storage on the survival of Francisella tularensis in infant formula

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, College Park, MD 20740, USA.
Food Microbiology (Impact Factor: 3.33). 12/2009; 26(8):932-5. DOI: 10.1016/
Source: PubMed


Francisella tularensis is a Gram-negative bacterium that can cause gastrointestinal or oropharyngeal tularemia in humans from ingestion of contaminated food or water. Despite the potential for accidental or intentional contamination of foods with F. tularensis, there are few studies on the long-term survivability of this organism in food matrices. Infant formula has previously been implicated as a vehicle for the transmission of a variety of bacterial pathogens in infants. In this study, we investigated the survival of F. tularensis in dehydrated infant formula under various storage conditions. F. tularensis was stored for up to 12 weeks in dehydrated infant formula in an ambient air, dry or nitrogen atmosphere. Viable counts of fresh F. tularensis at 12 weeks in infant formula revealed a 4.15, 3.37 and 3.72-log decrease in ambient air, dry and nitrogen atmosphere, respectively. D-values were calculated (in weeks) as 3.99, 4.68 and 4.47 in air, dry and nitrogen atmosphere, respectively.

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