Survival of Harmful Bacteria in Cookies, Sandwich Crackers for Months Found in Study

The researchers belonging to the University of Georgia have found that the pathogens including salmonella have survival rates of at least six months in crackers and cookies. This recent study was prompted by the rise in the number of occurrences of foodborne diseases that are linked to the dry or low water activity foods. Larry Beuchat, the food safety researcher at the University of Georgia is also a researcher at the UGA Collect of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences led a study to find how long the bacteria can cause food borne diseases that can survive in some foods that are very dry.

David Mann, the co-author of the study, is a research professional in the center who found that not only the harmful bacteria can survive in the dry foods such as cracker sandwiches and cookies, but also they can survive for a long time in such foodstuff. For the study, the researchers used five stereotypes of salmonella that were isolated from foods that were involved in earlier foodborne outbreaks. Beuchat stated that the isolates were from the food stuff having very low moisture content. The researchers focused on cookie and cracker sandwiches. They put the salmonella into four different kinds of fillings that are found in the crackers or cookies and then placed them into the storage containers. They also used peanut butter and cheese fillings and vanilla and chocolate fillings for the cracker sandwiches and cookie sandwiches respectively.

Beuchat stated that these were the type of food that we find in the grocery stores and vending machines. After storage, the UGA scientists found out how long the salmonella bacteria can survive in these different fillings. This way, they have got to know that salmonella survived longer in specific types of fillings than in the others. The salmonella could survive better in cookie sandwiches than in cracker sandwiches. In certain cases, the pathogen could survive up to six months in these sandwiches, and the result was unexpected.