Non-typhoidal Salmonella is a foodborne pathogen that has one of the highest incidences of hospitalizations and deaths. The foodborne illness symptoms can include fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. The high incidence of foodborne illness coupled with a large number of outbreaks in commercial low moisture foods LMF such as peanut butter prompted Army researchers to investigate S. enterica survivability in LMF rations. The majority of LMF are not cooked prior to consumption so contamination at the time of manufacture could lead to illness when consumed by the soldier. In addition, military rations are prepositioned and can be stored for up to 3 years at various climate conditions therefore, this study evaluated various storage temperatures to simulate conditions in the field. LMF products in this study were chosen based on categories outlined by Institute of Food Safety and Health peanut butter, mocha desert bar, dehydrated egg, chocolate protein drink and cran-raspberry first strike bar. Previous studies identified potential synergistic effect on S. enterica survival in high fat, low water activity foods such as peanut butter. This experiment expanded on these predictions and evaluated foods with varying compositions which undergo unique storage requirements prior to consumption.
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