Inactivation of Salmonella and Escherichia Coli O157

Inactivation of Salmonella and Escherichia coli O157:H7 on artificially contaminated alfalfa seeds using high hydrostatic pressure.

Food Microbiol. 2010 May;27(3):332-8. Epub 2009 Nov 13.

Neetoo H,Chen H.

Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716-2150, USA.



Alfalfa sprouts contaminated with Salmonella and Escherichia coli O157:H7 have been implicated in several outbreaks of foodborne illnesses in recent years. The seed used for sprouting appears to be the primary source of pathogens. Seed decontamination prior to sprouting presents a unique challenge for the sprouting industry since cells of the pathogenic survivors although undetectable after sanitizing treatments, can potentially multiply back to hazardous levels. The focus of this study was to therefore test the efficacy of high hydrostatic pressure to eliminate a approximately 5 log CFU/g load of Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 on alfalfa seeds. Pressure treatment of 600 MPa for up to 25 min at 20 degrees C could not result in complete inactivation of Salmonella. High-pressure treatment was then carried out either at sub-ambient (4 degrees C) or elevated (40, 45 and 50 degrees C) temperatures to test the ability of high pressure to eliminate Salmonella. Pressure treatment at 4 and 20 degrees C did not deliver any satisfactory inactivation of Salmonella while high pressure at elevated temperatures achieved complete kill. Pre-soaking seeds prior to high-pressure treatment also enhanced pressure inactivation of Salmonella but at the expense of seed viability. High-pressure treatment of 500 MPa for 2 min at 45 degrees C was able to eliminate wild-type Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 strains without bringing about any appreciable decrease in the seed viability. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.