Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 23, 2007
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Numerous outbreaks of salmonellosis by Salmonella Poona have been associated with the consumption of cantaloupes. Commercial washing processes for cantaloupes are limited in their ability to inactivate and/or remove this human pathogen. The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy of hot water surface pasteurization at 76C for 3 min to that of various chlorine and experimental sanitizer solutions for the inactivation of Salmonella on inoculated cantaloupe surfaces. Whole cantaloupes, surface inoculated with S. Poona RM 2350 to a final cell concentration of 5-6 log CFU/cm2 were stored at 4C or room temperature (RT = 19±1C) for up to 48 h prior to processing. Washing treatments with tap water at 76C for 3 min at 24 and 48 h post inoculation resulted in excess of 5 and 3 log CFU/cm2 reductions in S. Poona, and yeast and mold populations, respectively. All washing treatments with aqueous sanitizers at RT for 20 min treatments resulted in less than 2 log reductions in S. Poona, and yeast and mold populations. These results demonstrate the utility of hot water for the inactivation of Salmonella on cantaloupes and provide a framework to producers of fresh-cut melon for the potential use of hot water as an intervention treatment for enhancing the microbiological safety and extending the shelf life of this commodity. Storage of untreated inoculated cantaloupes at RT for up to 48 h post inoculation caused a significant (p<0.05) increase in S. Poona as compared to storage at 4C. This indicated that cantaloupes should be refrigerated as soon as possible following harvesting to suppress the growth of any possible contaminant on the rind. These findings will assist food industry and regulatory agencies in establishing processing guidelines to guard against pathogens, thereby decreasing the incidence of food poisoning outbreaks.