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Coppa di testa is a traditional cooked pork salami produced in different Italian regions. The main raw material is deboned meat of pork head with the addition of tongue and rind. After a long (3-5 h) high temperature (97°C) cooking, additives and flavourings are added and the salami is prepared. After cooling the salami is often portioned and vacuum- packaged. In this study the growth of naturally occurring contamination of Listeria innocua in three batches of vacuum packaged Coppa di testa, stored at 4°C for 80 days, is described. The average max was 0.24 (days-1) and the average doubling time was 2.87 days. The maximum growth level ranged from 4.90 to 8.17 (log10 cfu/g). These results indicate that Coppa di testa definitely supports the growth of Listeria innocua in the considered storage conditions. Taking into account that at 4°C Listeria monocytogenes strains are associated with higher grow rates than L. innocua, these results emphasize the importance of preventing Listeria monocytogenes contamination in the production stages following cooking.
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