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Destruction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Enteritidis in Cow Manure Composting

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Application of cow manure and composted manure in agricultural practice could potentially cause contamination of foodstuffs with pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella Enteritidis and Escherichia coli O157:H7. In this study, rifampicin-resistant (RifR) E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Enteritidis at a level of 7 log CFU/g of raw compost feed were used to determine the effect of a bench-scale composting system on their survival. RifR E. coli O157:H7 was not detected after 72 h of composting at 45°C, and RifR Salmonella Enteritidis was not detected after 48 h. The use of selective media for enrichment failed to recover in the composting samples held at 45°C for 96 h. However, the pathogens showed no change in bacterial numbers when the composting system was held at room temperature. Thus, properly composted manure can be safely used in food crop production while minimizing the likelihood of microbial contamination.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Food and Environmental Toxicology Laboratory, Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, P.O. Box 110720, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611-0720, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2001

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