Effect of Chemical Sanitizers on Salmonella enterica Serovar Poona on the Surface of Cantaloupe and Pathogen Contamination of Internal Tissues as a Function of Cutting Procedure

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Abstract:

Survival of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Poona on surface and stem scar portions of inoculated cantaloupe following sanitizer application, transfer of pathogen from the rind to the flesh during cutting, and growth of Salmonella Poona on cantaloupe cubes over 15 days of refrigerated storage were investigated. Cantaloupes inoculated with a rifampin-resistant strain of Salmonella Poona (107 CFU/ml) for 3 min and dried for 12 h were washed with chlorine (200 mg free chlorine per liter, 3 min), lactic acid (2%, 2 min), or ozone (30 mg/liter, 5 min). Fresh-cut cantaloupe cubes were prepared by (i) cutting the cantaloupe and then removing the rind or by (ii) peeling the rind and then cutting the flesh into pieces. The numbers of Salmonella bacteria recovered were higher in the stem scar portion (6.3 ± 0.3 log CFU/cm2) than the surface (4.8 ± 0.2 log CFU/cm2). Surface treatment with tap water or chlorine did not reduce Salmonella numbers, while treatment with lactic acid or ozone reduced Salmonella by 2.5 or 2.3 log CFU/cm2, respectively. The use of lactic acid to sanitize the cantaloupes resulted in less Salmonella transfer to flesh during cutting; Salmonella numbers decreased to below detectable levels over 9 days of refrigerated (4°C) storage. Cutting cantaloupes after peeling the rind was more effective at reducing transfer of Salmonella to the internal tissue than cutting of cantaloupes prior to rind removal. These data suggest that treatment of cantaloupe rinds with lactic acid or ozone may be effective at reducing Salmonella numbers, while lactic acid application resulted in reduction of Salmonella transfer to cantaloupe flesh.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-12-159

Affiliations: 1: Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-2471, USA 2: Lynntech, Inc., 7610 Eastmark Drive, College Station, Texas 77840, USA; IVESCO, LLC, Lexington, TX 78947, USA 3: Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-2471, USA. a-castillo@tamu.edu

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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