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Growth of food-borne pathogens Listeria and Salmonella and spore-forming Paenibacillus and Bacillus in commercial plant-based milk alternatives

Food Microbiol. 2023 Feb;109:104143. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2022 Sep 12.


The objective of the present study was to compare the growth of food-pathogens Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica, food spoilage Bacillus subtilis, an industrial milk product isolate, and spore-forming Paenibacillus in commercially available ultrahigh temperature processed (UHT) bovine milk and non-dairy, plant-based beverages (coconut, almond, cashew) stored at chilled and ambient temperatures (4 °C, 8 °C or 20 °C). Beverage samples were inoculated with a strain cocktail or individual strains of either Listeria or Salmonella, or Paenibacillus or Bacillus, respectively (approximately 1 × 103 CFU/mL). The findings indicate that the bacterial strains used in the study were capable of proliferating in plant-based beverages at higher rates than in bovine milk at 8 °C and 20 °C for Listeria and 20 °C for Salmonella and Paenibacillus, respectively. Bacillus subtilis grew equally fast in bovine milk and plant-based almond drink at 20 °C. No statistically significant difference (p > 0.05) in growth rates between different types of tested beverages was observed at 4 °C and at 8 °C for Listeria and Salmonella cocktails, respectively. These data suggest that plant-based beverages may present a significant risk for listeriosis and salmonellosis and post-opening recommendations should be carefully considered.

PMID:36309444 | DOI:10.1016/

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