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Efficacy of Sodium Hypochlorite and Peroxyacetic Acid To Reduce Murine Norovirus 1, B40-8, Listeria monocytogenes, and Escherichia coli O157:H7 on Shredded Iceberg Lettuce and in Residual Wash Water

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The efficiency of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) and peroxyacetic acid (PAA) to reduce murine norovirus 1 (MNV-1), a surrogate for human norovirus, and Bacteroides fragilis HSP40–infecting phage B40-8 on shredded iceberg lettuce was investigated. The levels of removal of viruses MNV-1 and B40-8 were compared with the reductions observed for bacterial pathogens Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli O157:H7. Two inoculation levels, one with a high organic load and the other containing a 10-fold lower number of pathogens and organic matter, showed that the effectiveness of NaOCl was greatly influenced by the presence of organic material, which was not observed for PAA. Moreover, the present study showed that 200 mg/liter NaOCl or 250 mg/liter PAA is needed to obtain an additional reduction of 1 log (compared with tap water) of MNV-1 on shredded iceberg lettuce, whereas only 250 mg/liter PAA achieved this for bacterial pathogens. None of the treatments resulted in a supplementary 1-log PFU/g reduction of B40-8 compared with tap water. B40-8 could therefore be useful as an indicator of decontamination processes of shredded iceberg lettuce based on NaOCl or PAA. Neither MNV-1, B40-8, nor bacterial pathogens could be detected in residual wash water after shredded iceberg lettuce was treated with NaOCl and PAA, whereas considerable numbers of all these microorganisms were found in residual wash water consisting solely of tap water. This study illustrates the usefulness of PAA and NaOCl in preventing cross-contamination during the washing process rather than in causing a reduction of the number of pathogens present on lettuce.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Food Preservation, Department of Food Safety and Food Quality, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Coupure links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium 2: Technology and Food Unit, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, Brusselsesteenweg 370, 9090 Melle, Belgium

Publication date: 2009-05-01

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