The effects of post-processing treatments on sensory quality and reduction of Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) in three formulations of two types of dry-fermented sausage (DFS; salami and morr) were evaluated. Tested interventions provided only marginal changes in sensory preference and characteristics. Total STEC reductions in heat treated DFS (32°C, 6days or 43°C, 24h) were from 3.5 to >5.5 log from production start. Storing of sausages (20°C, 1month) gave >1 log additional STEC reduction. Freezing and thawing of sausages in combination with storage (4°C, 1month) gave an additional 0.7 to 3.0 log reduction in STEC. Overall >5.5 log STEC reductions were obtained after storage and freezing/thawing of DFS with increased levels of glucose and salt. This study suggests that combined formulation optimisation and post-process strategies should be applicable for implementation in DFS production to obtain DFS with enhanced microbial safety and high sensory acceptance and quality.
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