The presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the food supply chain is a major concern. There is a great need to revalidate the effectiveness of the intervention strategies commonly used in food processing environments for multidrug-resistant strains. The purpose of this study was to determine the survival of antibiotic-resistant O26 and O103 Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains to lactic acid (2.5, 3.5, 5%), sodium hypochlorite (0.2, 0.5, 1 ppm free chlorine), and heat (60, 61, 62.5 °C) treatments. Six strains from STEC serotypes O26 and O103 with three distinctive antibiotic-resistant profiles (susceptible, low and high resistance) were selected for the study. As expected, the rates of inactivation were faster at increasing biocide concentrations or temperature level. The Weibull model provided a better fit than the traditional log-linear model due to the appearance of nonlinear patterns. A 5% lactic acid treatment for 10 min reduced the population of all STEC strains by 5 log CFU/ml. Sodium hypochlorite treatment (1 ppm for 5 min) achieved a similar reduction. Thermal D values for O26 and O103 serotypes ranged from 0.37 to 2.09 and 0.37-1.71 min, respectively. No statistical differences (P > 0.05) in tolerance were found between the two STEC serotypes to the different treatments. The antibiotic profile was not related to the ability to tolerate any of the treatments. Only the susceptible strain showed a relative higher resistance to the lactic acid and lower resistance to sodium hypochlorite treatment. These results would contribute to assess the risk for the presence of STEC strains in food processing environments.
- Antibiotic resistance
- Lactic acid
- Non-O157:H7 Escherichia coli STEC
- Predictive microbiology
- Sodium hypochlorite