Brochothrix thermosphacta is of concern as a food spoilage organism; there is no evidence to support that it is pathogenic. The organism is closely related to the genera Lactobacillus and Listeria.
Brochothrix thermosphacta is the predominant spoilage organism in chilled raw meats and processed meat products stored aerobically or under modified atmospheres. Spoilage is greatest in depleted aerobic conditions, often aided by increased carbon dioxide levels. Such conditions are common in vacuum packed products.
As a facultative anaerobe, Brochothrix thermosphacta is well suited to growing under modified atmosphere environments. The successful spoilage of chilled products is due mainly to it's psychrotrophic nature. It has a growth range of 0°C - 30ºC, with an optimum of 20°C - 25ºC. Refrigeration temperatures will selectively favour its growth. It's pH growth range (pH 5-9) is well within most meat products. These factors, along with its ability to tolerate low aW values and remain relatively resistant to curing agents, increase it's ability to outgrow many of the other food spoilage microflora.