Submitted to: Foodborne Pathogens and Disease
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/8/2009
Publication Date: 10/1/2009
Citation: Rajkowski, K.T., Ashurst, K. 2009. Use of 1 % peroxyacetic acid sanitizer in an air-mixing wash basin to remove bacterial pathogen from seeds. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. 6(9):1041-1046. Interpretive Summary: The Good Manufacturer Practice recommends the use of chemical sanitizers to decontaminate alfalfa seeds to prevent the outgrowth of pathogens, i.e., Salmonella or Escherichia coli O157:H7. Production of pathogen free sprouts is hindered by the problems with the seed sanitizing mixing protocol using liquid sanitizer on the seed surface. Studies on the efficacy of increasing the concentration of the peroxyacetic acid sanitizer were conducted. When artificially inoculated alfalfa seeds were washed with the peroxyacetic acid sanitizer, the 1% concentration consistently provided a greater than 1 log reduction. After the seeds were removed debris was seen on the bottom of the washing vessel and based on this observation an air-mixing wash basin was developed for commercial use. Commercial sprout growers validated the use of the 1% peroxyacetic acid sanitizer to wash alfalfa seeds in the air-mixing wash basin for over 2 years. No false positives or positive sprout water occurred after testing for the pathogens. Using 1% peroxyacetic acid sanitizer in the air-mixing wash basin enabled the sprout grower to provide pathogen free sprouts to the consumer.
Technical Abstract: Production of pathogen free sprouts is tenuous due to problems with the seed sanitizing mixing protocol using liquid sanitizer on the seed surface. Commercial treatments by irradiation or ozone gas of artificially inoculated seeds resulted in less than 1 log reduction. Use of peroxyacetic acid (1%) sanitizer on Salmonella or Escherichia coli O157:H7 inoculated alfalfa seeds consistently resulted in a greater than 1 log reduction. During these studies debris was noted after the seeds were removed. Based on this observation an air-mixing wash basin was developed for commercial use. Validation was done by commercial growers using 1% peroxyacetic acid sanitizer to wash seeds in the air-mixing basin. No false positive or positive pathogen results were reported after the required testing of the sprout water. Use of 1% peroxyacetic acid sanitizer in the air-mixing wash basin does provide the sprout grower a means of producing pathogen free sprouts.