Title: Commercial thermal process for inactivating Salmonella Poona on surfaces of whole fresh cantaloupes
Authors: Annous BA, Burke AM, Sites JE, Phillips JG
Journal: J Food Prot
Accepted date: 2012 Oct 29
Interpretive summary: Cantaloupe melons have been implicated in at least seven outbreaks of Salmonella and one outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes, and resulting in more than 36 deaths since 1990. These outbreaks indicate that cantaloupes are a high risk commodity. Our laboratory has investigated a variety of treatments for sanitizing melons, concluding that aqueous sanitizers were only partially effective at reducing populations of Salmonella, especially when the target bacteria were allowed to reside on the melon surface for more than 24 hours. Recently, our laboratory has focused on the use of hot water as a simple intervention to inactivate surface associated bacteria. The goal of the current research was to demonstrate the efficacy of hot water surface pasteurization at 92 deg C for 90 s for the inactivation of Salmonella and compare to efficacy of various chlorine and experimental sanitizer solutions. Results confirmed that in excess of 99.999% reduction of pathogen populations could be obtained. These results indicate that surface pasteurization will enhance the microbiological safety of this commodity. These findings will assist food industry and regulatory agencies in establishing processing guidelines to guard against pathogens, thereby decreasing the incidence of illness outbreaks.
Publication date: 2013 Mar
Related projects: Intervention Technologies for Minimally Processed Foods