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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Produce Safety and Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #147361

Title: RECOVERY AND SANITATION OF SURFACE BACTERIA ON CANTALOUPES

Author
item Barak Cunningham, Jeri
item CHUE, BRYAN
item MILLS, DANIEL

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/18/2003
Publication Date: 10/20/2003
Citation: BARAK CUNNINGHAM, J.D., CHUE, B., MILLS, D. RECOVERY AND SANITATION OF SURFACE BACTERIA ON CANTALOUPES. JOURNAL OF FOOD PROTECTION. 2003. 66(10):1805-1810

Interpretive Summary: Practical, effective surface sanitization methods for cantaloupes that could be implemented in a food establishment were microbiologically evaluated. An efficient method for bacterial recovery from the cantaloupe surface was described and validated. The method consisted of washing the entire melon with Butterfield's buffer with 1% Tween-80 in a plastic bag placed inside a pail affixed to an orbital shaker. Recovery of Salmonella was significantly higher by washing the entire melon than the more common laboratory method of blending the rind. We identified a non-pathogenic proxy for Salmonella. A three-compartment surface sanitization method consisting of washing with a soap solution, scrubbing with a brush in tap water, and immersing in 150 ppm sodium hypochorite, reduced the initial inoculum by 99.8%. All three of these components, washing with soap, scrubbing with a vegetable brush in tap water, and chlorine, when examined separately, contribute to the bacterial load reduction by 80, 70, and 90%, respectively.

Technical Abstract: Practical, effective surface sanitization methods for cantaloupes that could be implemented in a food establishment were microbiologically evaluated. Cantaloupes were immersed in an inoculum containing ~ 104-5 CFU/ml of Salmonella enterica serovar Poona or Pantoea agglomerans. An efficient method for bacterial recovery from the cantaloupe surface was described and validated. The method consisted of washing the entire melon with Butterfield's buffer with 1% Tween-80 in a plastic bag placed inside a pail affixed to an orbital shaker. Recovery of Salmonella enterica was significantly higher by washing the entire melon than the more common laboratory method of blending the rind. Pantoea agglomerans can be used as a non-pathogenic proxy for S. enterica Poona. A three-compartment surface sanitization method consisting of washing with a soap solution, scrubbing with a brush in tap water, and immersing in 150 ppm sodium hypochorite, reduced the initial inoculum by 99.8%. All three of these components, washing with soap, scrubbing with a vegetable brush in tap water, and chlorine, when examined separately, contribute to the bacterial load reduction by 80, 70, and 90%, respectively.