Some factors determining the shelf life of vacuum packed heat-treated Greek sausages
The bacteria Total Plate Count (TPC), Lactobacilli, pH and water activity influencing the shelf life of Greek vacuum-packed, heat-treated sausages kept at 7 °C were investigated. Samples of six types of whole and sliced, vacuum packed sausages were tested at weekly intervals and until sensory defects occurred. The TPC and Lactobacilli reached counts of about or over 10 8 cfu/g at the end of the products' shelf life and were followed by a drop in pH to about or below 5.7. The findings showed that the shelf life of all the products falls short of the producer's recommended sell-by-date, due to higher counts of bacteria and to a faster pH fall of the products.