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Detection and Isolation of Salmonella from Naturally Contaminated Alfalfa Seeds Following an Outbreak Investigation

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Naturally contaminated alfalfa seeds, epidemiologically linked to foodborne disease outbreaks in Oregon and British Columbia, were tested for the presence of Salmonella. Ten sample units from the suspected lot were sprouted and grown for 4 days. After enrichment of the grown sprouts, an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and culture method (modified procedure of the Food and Drug Administration Bacteriological Analytical Manual) were used for the detection and isolation of Salmonella. Four of the 10 sample units were positive with the EIA; however, 5 of the 10 sample units were culture positive (four were positive for Salmonella serotype Newport and a fifth was positive for Salmonella serotype Albany and serotype Schwarzengrund). The positive alfalfa seed sample units were further tested after shredding, soaking, and washing before culturing. Results suggest that sprouting and shredding methods may yield greater detection and recovery rates of Salmonella, but more research with a larger sample size is warranted.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: California Department of Health Services, Microbial Diseases Laboratory, 2151 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, California 94704, USA

Publication date: June 1, 1999

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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