Disinfection of Radish and Alfalfa Seeds Inoculated with Escherichia Coli O157

Disinfection of Radish and Alfalfa Seeds Inoculated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella by a Gaseous Acetic Acid Treatment.

Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2011 Jun 8.

Nei D, Latiful BM, Enomoto K, Inatsu Y, Kawamoto S.

Food Hygiene Laboratory, National Food Research Institute , Tsukuba, Japan .


The majority of seed sprout-related outbreaks have been associated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella. Therefore, we aimed to find an effective method to inactivate these organisms on seeds before sprouting. Treatment with 8.7% (v/v) acetic acid at 55°C for 2-3 h reduced the population of E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella inoculated on alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and radish seeds (Raphanus sativus L.) by more than 5.0 log CFU/g, and a longer treatment time completely eliminated the E. coli O157:H7 population. The E. coli O157:H7 populations were reduced to an undetectable level with a gaseous acetic acid treatment for 48 h. After enrichment, no E. coli O157:H7 were found in the alfalfa and radish seeds (25 g). However, these treatments were unable to eliminate Salmonella in both seed types. No significant difference between the germination rates of treated alfalfa seeds and control seeds was found, and germination rates greater than 95% were obtained for the radish seeds. Although chlorine washing is commonly used for seed decontamination, chlorine washing at 200 and 20,000 ppm resulted in a reduction of pathogens by less than or equal to 3 log CFU/g. Therefore, these results suggested that gaseous acetic acid is more effective than chlorine washing in controlling pathogenic bacteria on sprout seeds.