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Recovery and survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in reconditioned pork-processing wastewater



Recovery and survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in reconditioned pork-processing wastewater



Journal of Food Protection 62(7): 731-734



The pathogen Escherichia coli O157:H7 has been recovered from various water sources and food samples. The growth potential of this bacterium in nutrient-limited, reconditioned wastewater from a pork-processing plant was determined over a temperature range of 4 to 46 degrees C. Even though the biological oxygen demand of the wastewater was <2 mg/liter, results of bioassays for assimilable organic carbon and the coliform growth response of the water suggested that sufficient nutrients were present to support limited bacterial growth. A three-strain mixture of E. coli O157:H7 grew over the temperature range of 10.2 to 29.4 degrees C. Bioassays appear to be a good indicator of the ability of this wastewater to support growth of this pathogen. Statistically higher levels of bacterial growth (P < 0.05) were detected on a nonselective medium (tryptic soy agar) than on a selective medium (sorbitol-MacConkey agar), suggesting that stress or injury of the bacterium occurs when the organism is exposed to the nutrient-limited conditions of the wastewater. These results indicate that E. coli O157:H7 can survive and grow in this particular nutrient-limited wastewater, suggesting a potential hazard if this water becomes contaminated with this pathogen.

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Accession: 003251844

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PMID: 10419263


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