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Natural and Environment-Friendly Approaches for Improving the Microbiological Safety of Cantaloupes


Although cantaloupes have been implicated in sporadic outbreaks of foodborne diseases in humans in the past, recently the fruit has been increasingly linked to large, multi-state outbreaks resulting in severe morbidity and mortality. These outbreaks highlight the emerging role of cantaloupes as a vehicle of foodborne pathogens, and justify the need for effective and practical decontamination procedures to prevent human infections. A variety of FDA-approved disinfectants, including quaternary ammonium compounds and hypochlorite have been evaluated for cantaloupe washing treatments, but are found to be ineffective in killing pathogen on cantaloupe surface. ARS is interested in pre-harvest and post-harvest sources of contaminations in fresh produce and intervention strategies to reduce foodborne pathogens at farm-to-fork level. Our goal of this proposal is to investigate the antimicrobial potential of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) as a biocontrol applied at pre- and post-harvest levels for controlling Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella on cantaloupes. Co-operator has extensive experience in biocontrols for controlling pathogens in foods.

Patel, Jitu
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
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