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Effect of Temperature and Sanitizers on the Survival of Feline Calicivirus, Escherichia coli, and F-Specific Coliphage MS2 on Leafy Salad Vegetables

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We conducted a series of experiments to compare the survival of Escherichia coli, feline calicivirus, and F-specific coliphage MS2 on lettuce and cabbage with and without disinfection. Inoculated produce was held at 4, 25, or 37°C for 21 days or was treated with different concentrations of sodium bicarbonate, chlorine bleach, peroxyacetic acid, or hydrogen peroxide. Survival was measured by the decimal reduction value (time to 90% reduction in titer) and the change in log titers of the test organisms. A stronger correlation of survival measures was observed between feline calicivirus and MS2 than between E. coli and either of the viral agents at 25 and 37°C. The maximum time to detection limit for MS2 at all temperatures was 9 days, whereas feline calicivirus was detected for a maximum of 14 days at 4°C. In contrast, E. coli was detectable for 21 days at 4 and 25°C and for 14 days at 37°C. Significant increases in E. coli titer occurred within the first 5 days, but virus titers decreased steadily throughout the experiments. E. coli was also highly susceptible to all disinfectants except 1% sodium bicarbonate and 50 ppm chlorine bleach, whereas the viruses were resistant to all four disinfectants.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware Street S. E., Minneapolis,Minnesota 55455 2: Department of Veterinary Diagnostic Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, 1333 GortnerAvenue, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA

Publication date: 2004-07-01

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