Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/31/2001
Publication Date: 11/5/2001
Citation: Niemira, B.A., Fan, X., Rajkowski, K.T., Thayer, D.W. 2001. Research plans: microbiological and sensorial response of listeria monocytogenes inoculated leafy salad vegetables following irradiation and refrigerated storage under modified atmosphere. Report of First FAO/IAEA Research Co-Ordination Meeting, November 5-9, 2001, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. p. 19.
Technical Abstract: Human pathogens associated with minimally processed fruits and vegetables are increasingly implicated in outbreaks of foodborne illness. Enteric bacteria such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli O157:H7 have been isolated from sprouts, salad vegetables, fruits and nonpasteurized juices. Of particular concern on produce and cut salad mixes is Listeria monocytogenes sdue to its ability to multiply at normal refrigeration temperatures. Ionizing radiation is known to effectively inactivate pathogenic bacteria, but the consequences of the efficacious radiation doses for the sensorial properties of suspending vegetables are not well defined. The post-irradiation interaction between pathogen contaminants and native vegetable microflora during storage is similarly ill defined. The combination of low-dose irradiation with other antimicrobial treatments to achieve synergistic pathogen reductions remains an intriguing possibility. Our long term objectives are to delineate the factors associated with fres produce that will a) enhance or detract from the antimicrobial efficacy of ionizing radiation vis a vis human pathogenic bacteria, and b) determine the sensitivity of the produce vis a vis sensorial properties related to marketability.