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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334330

Research Project: Characterization and Mitigation of Bacterial Pathogens in the Fresh Produce Production and Processing Continuum

Location: Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory

Title: Survival and growth of Salmonella enterica and Listeria Monocytogenes on fresh-cut fruits and radish under different temperature abuse conditions

item HUANG, JINGWEI - Sichuan Agricultural University
item Zhou, Bin
item ZHENG, JIE - Food And Drug Administration(FDA)
item Nou, Xiangwu
item Luo, Yaguang - Sunny

Submitted to: Food Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/26/2018
Publication Date: 1/22/2019
Citation: Huang, J., Zhou, B., Zheng, J., Nou, X., Luo, Y. 2019. Survival and growth of Salmonella enterica and Listeria Monocytogenes on fresh-cut fruits and radish under different temperature abuse conditions. Food Control. 100:300-304.

Interpretive Summary: Temperature abuse during fresh-cut produce storage and distribution is one of the most serious concerns for food safety. In this study we compared the survival and growth of two major foodborne pathogens, Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, on fresh-cut produce stored under various temperature abuse conditions. The results indicated that chronic temperature abuse led to significant growth of the pathogens on fresh-cut cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon. However, no pathogen growth was observed on cut radish, and significant pathogen decline was noted on cut pineapple. These findings provide important information for the development and implementation of commodity based food safety regulations and practices.

Technical Abstract: Fresh-cut fruits and vegetables are increasingly being recognized as important vehicles for transmission of human pathogens such as Salmonella enterica, and Listeria monocytogenes. Understanding the population dynamics of these foodborne pathogens on cut fruits and vegetables stored at different temperatures is critical to improve food safety. We evaluated the survival and growth of S. enterica and L. monocytogenes on different types of fresh-cut melons and other produce which were exposed to different temperature abuse conditions during seven days of storage. Produce items compared include fresh-cut cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, pineapple, and radish. Under chronic temperature abuse conditions of 8 and 12 oC, all melon samples supported significant growth of the inoculated foodborne pathogens, with S. enterica populations reaching over 4.1 log CFU/g and L. monocytogenes exceeded 5.3 log CFU/g. On the other hand, neither S. enterica nor L. monocytogenes showed any significant growth on fresh-cut radish and pineapple at all the temperatures investigated, with those on fresh-cut pineapple exhibiting rapid population decline.