Activation of Bacillus spores at moderately elevated temperatures (30–33 °C)
The heat resistance of a wild strain of Bacillus cereus spores isolated from liquid egg was characterized, and the effect of the nutritional germinant inosine on the spore population was then studied, considering different factors such as germination temperature, inosine concentration, and age of spore culture. The heat resistance clearly indicates that these spores can survive mild heat treatments such as those used for cooked refrigerated food of extended durability or liquid egg, posing safety problems for these foods with temperature abuse. The germination study indicates that temperature, spore age, and the interaction between the two were the factors affecting the level of spores remaining after the germination process. No significant differences were found for the three inosine concentrations used in the study (1, 5, and 10 mM). The highest reduction in the spore concentration was reached at 30 degrees C after 120 min, although the reduction in the spore counts at germination temperatures of 4 and 8 degrees C was also considerable.