Ethanol was quantified in canned salmon produced from whole fish showing different stages of decomposition due to storage at 1 and 14 degrees C for up to 3 and 16 days, respectively. Ethanol incidence in the canned salmon was correlated to results from skin aerobic plate counts and sensory evaluations of the whole fish and with sensory evaluations of the canned product. Panelists rejected whole salmon after 3 and 12 days of storage at 14 and 1 degrees C, respectively. Skin aerobic plate counts reached 4.8 log CFU/cm2 when fish were rejected, regardless of storage temperature. Panelists rejected canned salmon produced with fish stored for a maximum of 2 and 16 days at 14 and 1 degrees C, respectively. Ethanol concentrations in the cans produced with fish stored at 14 degrees C correlated well with sensory evaluation results; however, ethanol concentrations in the cans produced with salmon stored at 1 degrees C did not agree with sensory results. A correlation could not be established between ethanol concentration in the canned product and microbial content of whole salmon.
The natural microflora of cold-smoked fish at the end of shelf-life are lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Some of these display a capacity to inhibit spoilage as well as several strains of pathogenic micro-organisms, e.g. Listeria monocytogenes which is isolated frequently from cold-smoked salmon (CSS). Eight batches of sliced vacuum-packed CSS from Norway, Scotland and Spain were collected at retail. Packs were stored at 5 degrees C and examined for chemical and microbiological characteristics, at purchase date and at expiration date. pH, water activity and salt content were similar to available data on lightly preserved fish products. There was a consistent pattern in the development of the microflora on CSS; the initial level of LAB was low on freshly produced CSS (10(2) cfu g(-1)); however, storage in vacuum packaging at refrigeration temperature was elective for LAB. At the end of the stated shelf-life these micro-organisms, represented mainly by Lactobacillus spp., attained ca.10(7) cfu g(-1) while Enterobacteriaceae counts were consistently lower (10(5) cfu g(-1)), which indicates the ability of LAB to grow and compete with few carbohydrates available and in the presence of moderate salt concentrations. L. monocytogenes was not found in any sample. Forty-one percent of LAB strains isolated exhibited inhibitory capacity against Listeria innocua, in a plate assay. A majority of the inhibitory effects were non-bacteriocinogenic, but nevertheless were very competitive cultures which may provide an additional hurdle for improved preservation by natural means.
The processing environment of salmon processing plants represents a potential major source of bacteria causing spoilage of fresh salmon. In this study, we have identified major contamination routes of important spoilage associated species within the genera Pseudomonas, Shewanella and Photobacterium in pre-rigor processing of salmon. Bacterial counts and culture-independent 16S rRNA gene analysis on salmon fillet from seven processing plants showed higher levels of Pseudomonas spp. and Shewanella spp. in industrially processed fillets compared to salmon processed under strict hygienic conditions. Higher levels of Pseudomonas spp. and Shewanella spp. were found on fillets produced early on the production day compared to later processed fillets. The levels of Photobacterium spp. were not dependent on the processing method or time of processing. In follow-up studies of two plants, bacterial isolates (n=2101) from the in-plant processing environments (sanitized equipment/machines and seawater) and from salmon collected at different sites in the production were identified by partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Pseudomonas spp. dominated in equipment/machines after sanitation with 72 and 91% of samples from the two plants being Pseudomonas-positive. The phylogenetic analyses, based on partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing, showed 48 unique sequence profiles of Pseudomonas of which two were dominant. Only six profiles were found on both machines and in fillets in both plants. Shewanella spp. were found on machines after sanitation in the slaughter department while Photobacterium spp. were not detected after sanitation in any parts of the plants. Shewanella spp. and Photobacterium spp. were found on salmon in the slaughter departments. Shewanella was frequently present in seawater tanks used for bleeding/short term storage. In conclusion, this study provides new knowledge on the processing environment as a source of contamination of salmon fillets with Pseudomonas spp. and Shewanella spp., while Photobacterium spp. most likely originate from the live fish and seawater. The study show that strict hygiene during processing is a prerequisite for optimal shelf life of salmon fillets and that about 90% reductions in the initial levels of bacteria on salmon fillets can be obtained using optimal hygienic conditions.
Microbiological and chemical changes were determined during the smoking and drying of salmon strips processed at 29 to 31 degrees C for 4 days at a facility in Alaska in 1993. During the process, Staphylococcus aureus populations increased to more than 10(5) CFU/g after 2 to 3 days of processing. Subsequent laboratory studies showed that a pellicle (dried skinlike surface) formed rapidly on the strips when there was rapid air circulation in the smokehouse and that bacteria embedded in or under the pellicle were able to grow even when heavy smoke deposition occurred. Under these conditions, an inoculum of 26 CFU/g of S. aureus increased to 10(5) CFU/g after 3 days of processing. Elimination of preprocess drying and reduction in air flow during smoking resulted in smoke deposition before pellicle formation and enabled the product to reach levels of water-phase salt and water activity that inhibit the growth of S. aureus and Listeria monocytogenes. In 1994, these modifications were then applied during processing at an Alaskan facility, and S. aureus could not be detected in the finished product. L. monocytogenes was detected in the raw product area, on the processing tables, and on the raw salmon strips, but it was not detected in the finished product when the smoke was applied before pellicle formation.
The Alaska salmon industry conducted 9 recalls of 7 3/4-oz cans of salmon in 1982 after a 7 3/4-oz can of Alaskan salmon was implicated in illness and one death in Belgium from Clostridium botulinum type E toxin. By the code number on the can, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Seattle District, traced it to a specific salmon packer. Subsequently, the FDA received a report about a defect in the can. Investigation of the salmon packer's plant by the Agency revealed that the equipment used at the plant to reform the cans--which arrived at the cannery in a nearly flattened state--might have been responsible for the defect. The death and illness in Belgium, combined with the results of the FDA inspection of the plant implicated in the Belgian incident, provided strong evidence of the existence of a hazardous situation that might have widespread adverse health effects. The Food and Drug Administration therefore requested the firm to recall its 1980 and 1981 production of salmon packaged in 7 3/4-oz cans. The Agency then began an investigation of all U.S. salmon packed inn cans of this size that had been reformed on the equipment implicated in the can defect. Of 300,000 cans examined, 22 with the defect were found. As additional firms were identified as having used the defective cans, subsequent recalls were initiated.
Listeria monocytogenes is a food-borne human-pathogenic bacterium that can cause infections with a high mortality rate. It has a remarkable ability to persist in food processing facilities. Here we report the genome sequences for two L. monocytogenes strains (N53-1 and La111) that were isolated 6 years apart from two different Danish fish processers. Both strains are of serotype 1/2a and belong to a highly persistent DNA subtype (random amplified polymorphic DNA [RAPD] type 9). We demonstrate using in silico analyses that both strains belong to the multilocus sequence typing (MLST) type ST121 that has been isolated as a persistent subtype in several European countries. The purpose of this study was to use genome analyses to identify genes or proteins that could contribute to persistence. In a genome comparison, the two persistent strains were extremely similar and collectively differed from the reference lineage II strain, EGD-e. Also, they differed markedly from a lineage I strain (F2365). On the proteome level, the two strains were almost identical, with a predicted protein homology of 99.94%, differing at only 2 proteins. No single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) differences were seen between the two strains; in contrast, N53-1 and La111 differed from the EGD-e reference strain by 3,942 and 3,471 SNPs, respectively. We included a persistent L. monocytogenes strain from the United States (F6854) in our comparisons. Compared to nonpersistent strains, all three persistent strains were distinguished by two genome deletions: one, of 2,472 bp, typically contains the gene for inlF, and the other, of 3,017 bp, includes three genes potentially related to bacteriocin production and transport (lmo2774, lmo2775, and the 3'-terminal part of lmo2776). Further studies of highly persistent strains are required to determine if the absence of these genes promotes persistence. While the genome comparison did not point to a clear physiological explanation of the persistent phenotype, the remarkable similarity between the two strains indicates that subtypes with specific traits are selected for in the food processing environment and that particular genetic and physiological factors are responsible for the persistent phenotype.
Listeria monocytogenes causes severe consequences especially for persons belonging to risk groups. Finland is among the countries with highest number of listeriosis cases in the European Union. Although most reported cases appear to be sporadic and the maximum bacterial concentration of 100?cfu/g is not usually exceeded at retail, cold smoked and salt-cured fish products have been noted as those products with great risk especially for the elderly. In order to investigate the listeriosis risk more carefully, an exposure assessment was developed, and laboratory results for cold smoked and salt-cured salmon products were exploited. L. monocytogenes exposure was modeled for consumers in two age groups, the elderly population as a risk group and the working-age population as a reference. Incidence was assessed by estimating bacterial growth in the food products at three temperatures. Bayesian estimation of the risk was based on bacterial occurrence and product consumption data and epidemiological population data. The model builds on a two-state Markov chain describing repeated consumption on consecutive days. The cumulative exposure is probabilistically governed by the daily decreasing likelihood of continued consumption and the increasing bacterial concentrations due to growth. The population risk was then predicted with a Poisson distribution accounting for the daily probabilities of purchasing a contaminated product and the cumulative total probability of infection from its use. According to the model presented in this article, elderly Finns are at a greater risk of acquiring listeriosis than healthy adults. The risk for the elderly does not fully diminish even if the products have been stored at the recommended temperature (between 0 and 3?°C). It can be concluded that the stage after retail, i.e. food handling and storage by consumer or professional kitchens, is essential to protection against listeriosis. The estimation model provides means for assessing the joint impacts of these effects.
The objective of this study was to characterize Listeria monocytogenes isolated from farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and the processing environment in three different Norwegian factories, and compare these to clinical isolates by multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). The 65 L. monocytogenes isolates obtained gave 15 distinct MLVA profiles. There was great heterogeneity in the distribution of MLVA profiles in factories and within each factory. Nine of the 15 MLVA profiles found in the fish-associated isolates were found to match human profiles. The MLVA profile 07-07-09-10-06 was the most common strain in Norwegian listeriosis patients. L. monocytogenes with this profile has previously been associated with at least two known listeriosis outbreaks in Norway, neither determined to be due to fish consumption. However, since this profile was also found in fish and in the processing environment, fish should be considered as a possible food vehicle during sporadic cases and outbreaks of listeriosis.
Formation of biogenic amines (BA) may occur in fermented foods and beverages due to the amino acid decarboxylase activities of Gram-positive bacteria. These compounds may cause food poisoning and therefore could imply food exportation problems. A set of consensual primers based on histidine decarboxylase gene (hdc) sequences of different bacteria was designed for the detection of histamine-producing Gram-positive bacteria. A multiplex PCR based on these hdc primers and recently designed primers targeting the tyrosine decarboxylase (tyrdc) gene was created. A third set of primers targeting the 16S rRNA gene of eubacteria was also used as an internal control. This multiplex PCR was performed on extracted DNA as well as directly on cell colonies. The results obtained show that this new molecular tool allowed for the detection of Gram-positive histamine- and/or tyramine-producing bacteria. The use of this molecular tool for early and rapid detection of Gram-positive BA-producing bacteria is of interest in evaluating the potential of cultured indigenous strains to produce biogenic amines in a fermented food product as well as to validate the innocuity of potential starter strains in the food industry.
Environmental samples collected along the coastline and from the interior of Alaska were examined for the presence of Clostridium botulinum. Clostridium botulinum type E was detected in soils from 5 of 12 beaches; in 7 of 115 non-coastal soil samples; in sediments from six of eight locales; in gills of salmon from two fishing areas; and in the feces of 1 of 44 colonic samples from marine mammals. The basic biochemical characteristics of the isolates were determined. Tube tests for demonstrating gelatin liquefaction proved insensitive with these strains, whereas a plate test detected gelatinase in all isolates. The presence of multiple nidi and the continual discharge of organic materials into the environment may contribute to the perpetuation of botulinum spores by which foods prepared form marine animals become contaminated. An emphasis should be placed upon the need for measures to reduce environmental contamination, to reduce contamination during food preparation, and to alert continually the population of the hazard wherever botulism is endemic.
From: Fortuine, Robert et al. 1993. The Health of the Inuit of North America: A Bibliography from the Earliest Times through 1990. University of Alaska Anchorage. Citation number 1847.