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Efficacy and Reproducibility of a Produce Wash in Killing Salmonella on the Surface of Tomatoes Assessed with a Proposed Standard Method for Produce Sanitizers

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The reproducibility of a method developed to evaluate point-of-use sanitizers for fresh produce was tested at three different laboratories. Mixtures of five Salmonella serotypes were inoculated on the surface of ripe tomatoes. After the inoculum was dry, tomatoes were placed inside a plastic bag and sprayed with sterile USP water, Dey and Engley (D/E) neutralizer broth, or a prototype Fit produce wash (PW), an alkaline solution comprised of generally recognized as safe ingredients (water,oleic acid, glycerol, ethanol, potassium hydroxide, sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, and distilled grapefruit oil), and rubbed for 30 s. The tomatoes were rinsed 10 s with 195 ml of D/E neutralizer broth (rinse solution), then combined with 20 ml of D/E neutralizer (residual wash solution) and rubbed by hand to remove residual Salmonella. Populations of Salmonella were determined for each tomato in the rinse solution and residual wash solution. Treatment with PW resulted in reductions in the number of Salmonella 2 to 4 logs greater than those achieved with the sterile water or D/E neutralizer broth controls. Consistent results were obtained across the three study sites, indicating reproducible results were obtained using the test method. The method used to determine the efficacy of killing or removing Salmonella from tomatoes in this study is suggested as a standard method for measuring the efficacy of sanitizers on tomatoes and other similar fruits and vegetables with rigid, smooth surfaces.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, California 95616-8598, USA 2: Center for Food Safety and Quality Enhancement, Department of Food Science Technology, University of Georgia, Griffin, Georgia 30223-1797, USA 3: The Procter and Gamble Company, 8700 Mason-Montgomery Road, Mason, Ohio 45040, USA 4: The Procter and Gamble Company, Sharon Woods Technical Center, 11530 Reed Hartman Highway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45241, USA 5: The Procter and Gamble Company, Winton Hill Technical Center, 6060 Center Hill Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45224, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2001

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