Evaluation of the efficacy of commercial fruit cleaners and waxes to remove or kill Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella muenchen on Red Delicious cv. apples
Kenney, Stephen Jeffrey
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Outbreaks of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella infections linked to consumption of unpasteurized fruit juices have been reported. Apples spot-inoculated with E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Muenchen were treated with either commercial fruit cleaners or waxes. Populations of the pathogens and naturally occurring microorganims were enumerated before and after treatment. Survival characteristics of the pathogens on waxed apples during storage at 2°C or 21°C for up to 12 weeks were monitored. Compared to untreated apples, treatment with cleaners eliminated up to 3.11 log10 cfu per apple of E. coli O157:H7 and S. Muenchen. Waxing reduced pathogen populations by up to 1.48 log10 cfu/apple. Compared to untreated apples, pathogen populations on apples treated with wax decreased more rapidly during storage at 2°C than at 21°C.