Ice cream and other frozen desserts are protected from spoilage by very low temperatures of preparation and storage; however, major ingredients used to make these products are prone to spoilage and several ingredients are added after the last lethal process, pasteurization, has been completed. Therefore, microorganisms are of considerable importance to the frozen desserts industry. Pathogens of greatest importance are L. monocytogenes and S. Enteritidis. The most threatening spoilage bacteria are psychrotrophs in the refrigerated dairy products and yeasts and molds in fruits and nuts. Dry ingredients and flavoring and colors are likely to contribute bacterial spores, but they seldom are of concern because of their low numbers and their inability to germinate and grow in the frozen products.
Ice cream is a relatively safe product, but failure to pasteurize it and to prevent environmental contamination can render it unsafe, especially to infants and immunocompromised adults.
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