At 5 degrees C four strains of fermentative, gram-negative bacteria (Serratia liquefaciens, Yersinia enterocolitica, Enterobacter cloacae, and Aeromonas hydrophila) grew aerobically and anaerobically on adipose tissue removed from beef muscle of low pH (5.4 to 5.6). All four strains also grew aerobically and anaerobically on muscle tissue of high pH (6.0 to 6.3). However, none of the four grew anaerobically on beef muscle of low pH, and the aeromonad strain also failed to grow aerobically on such muscle. Growth of S. liquefaciens and E.cloacae on vacuum-packaged beef muscle was dependent on the pH of the tissue and the oxygen transmission rate of the packaging film. Although the four strains grew in broth buffered at pH 5.55, L-lactate, at the concentration found in muscle of low pH (ca. 100 mM), prevented anaerobic growth of all four isolates and prevented the aerobic growth of th aeromonad. At pH 6.1 in buffered broth, the concentration of L-lactate occurring in muscle of high pH did not prevent aerobic or anaerobic growth of any of the strains
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