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Attachment and Colonization by Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium, and Staphylococcus aureus on Stone Fruit Surfaces and Survival through a Simulated Commercial Export Chain

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Abstract:

The ability of the foodborne pathogens Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium, and Staphylococcus aureus to attach, colonize, and survive on stone fruit surfaces was investigated. Fifty microliters of bacterial suspension was spot inoculated onto the sterile intact fructoplane of whole peaches and plums. Minimum time required for initial adhesion and attachment was recorded for different surface contact times. Surface colonization patterns of the four pathogens and survival under simulated commercial export conditions also were evaluated. L. monocytogenes and Salmonella Typhimurium attached immediately to stone fruit surfaces. E. coli O157:H7 and S. aureus were visibly attached after 30 s and 1 h, respectively, of direct exposure. Holding freshly harvested stone fruit at 0.5°C to simulate cold storage conditions significantly lowered the titer of E. coli O157:H7 on plums and the titers of L. monocytogenes and Salmonella Typhimurium on stone fruit. E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes at a low inoculum level and S. aureus and Salmonella Typhimurium at high and low levels did not survive the simulated export chain conditions at titers that exceeded the minimum infectious dose. However, E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes were able to survive on stone fruit surfaces when inoculated at an artificially high level. In this case, the final titer at the end of the supply chain was higher than the infectious dose. In this laboratory experiment, E. coli O157:H7, L. monocytogenes, Salmonella Typhimurium, and S. aureus at potential natural contamination levels were unable to survive simulated export conditions.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa 2: Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa;, Email: lise.korsten@up.ac.za

Publication date: July 1, 2010

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