Wrinkled Alfalfa Seeds Harbor More Aerobic Bacteria and Are More Difficult To Sanitize than Smooth Seeds
Abstract:At least 14 separate outbreaks of food poisoning attributed to either Salmonella enterica or Escherichia coli O157:H7 have been traced to sprouts in the past decade. Seeds contaminated with human pathogens caused most of these outbreaks, thus many sprout growers are now treating alfalfa seeds with the sanitizing agent, calcium hypochlorite (Ca[OCl]2), prior to sprouting. The efficacy of alfalfa seed sanitation varies between seed lots and between seeds within each lot. Alfalfa seeds from different seed lots were sorted by type in an effort to determine if certain seed types carry more aerobic bacteria than other seed types. Seeds with a wrinkled type, characteristic of lygus bug damage, had significantly higher levels of culturable aerobic bacteria and were more difficult to sanitize than smooth, healthy seeds. After sanitation, wrinkled alfalfa seeds that had been inoculated with S. enterica ser. Newport carried significantly higher levels of Salmonella Newport than smooth seeds. If S. enterica is present on wrinkled seeds in naturally contaminated seed lots, it may be difficult to chemically sanitize the seed lot. Removal of the wrinkled alfalfa seeds from the seed lots, perhaps by adapting color sorting equipment similar to that used to sort rice grains and other seeds, should reduce the level of aerobic bacteria in seed lots and may result in lower levels of human pathogens on contaminated alfalfa seeds.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Food Safety and Health, USDA, ARS, WRRC, 800 Buchanan Street, Albany, California 94710, USA
Publication date: September 1, 2001
More about this publication?
- IAFP Members with personal subscriptions to JFP Online: To access full-text JFP or JMFT articles, you must sign-in in the upper-right corner using your Ingenta sign-in details (your IAFP Member Login does not apply to this website). The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) 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.
Print and online subscriptions are available to IAFP Members and institutional subscribers. IAFP Members with a subscription to JFP Online will have access to all available JFP and JMFT content. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Membership and subscription information is available at www.foodprotection.org.
- Information for Authors
- Submit a Paper
- Subscribe to this Title
- Membership Information
- Information for Advertisers
- ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites