Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 12, 2004
Publication Date: August 1, 2005
Citation: Ukuku, D.O., Sapers, G.M. 2005. Microbiological safety issues of fresh melons. In: Sapers, G.M., Gorny, J.R., Yousef, A.E., editors. Microbiology of Fruits and Vegetables. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. p. 231-251. Technical Abstract: In the U.S., melons are widely available year round and represent an important dietary component. However, the microbiological safety of fresh and minimally processed fresh-cut melons has been questioned as a result of recent outbreaks of foodborne illness. In this chapter, we have discussed production and postharvest handling conditions that contribute to microbial contamination of melons. Also, the efficacy of conventional washing practices that helped in reducing the microbial load on melons was reviewed. Published scientific literature is contradictory pertaining to the efficacy or limitations of sanitizers for disinfection of whole melons and reducing transfer of surface microflora including bacterial human pathogen to fresh-cut melon pieces. The scientific discussion presented in this chapter will increase our understanding of microbial safety issues of fresh and fresh-cut melons and may assist in the development of more effective sanitizer treatments for these products.