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Two Processing Methods for the Isolation of Salmonella from Naturally Contaminated Alfalfa Seeds

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Two processing methods were examined for the recovery of Salmonella from naturally contaminated alfalfa seed. Seed samples, from each of three investigations, were processed by sprouting and shredding before preenrichment and culture. In lot A, Salmonella serotype Newport was isolated from 3 of 30 sample units with the sprouting method and 2 of 30 with the shredding method. In lot B, three serotypes in various combinations were isolated from 10 of 30 sample units with the sprouting method and 9 of 30 with the shredding method. In lot C, Salmonella group C1 was isolated from 27 of 30 sample units with the sprouting method and 24 of 30 with the shredding method. Additionally, serotype Newport was found in one lot C sample unit. Using shredded seed data, a most probable number (MPN) for Salmonella contamination per lot was calculated. Serotype Newport was estimated at 0.07 MPN/100 g in lot A; the concentration for three serotypes was estimated to be 0.36 MPN/100 g in lot B; Salmonella group C1 was estimated at 1.8 MPN/100 g in lot C. Our success in isolating Salmonella from alfalfa seeds was likely attributed to the volume of material tested and the quick acquisition of the seeds after the outbreak was identified. Shredding the seeds was easier and yielded definitive results more quickly than sprouting.


Document Type: Research Article

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

Publication date: August 1, 2001

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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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