Reduction of Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Listeria monocytogenes on the surface of leafy greens and green onions using innovative home washing technologies
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Recent disease outbreaks linked to fresh produce attracted consumer’s attention regarding interventions that minimize microbiological risk at home. This study compared the efficacy of various washing technologies in reducing pathogens on lettuce, spinach and green onions. Trimmed samples were inoculated with Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes and then subjected to the following procedures: (1) rinse for 15 seconds under running tap water, (2) immersion for 2 minutes in household chlorine bleach, Veggie Wash®, ozonated water and electrolyzed oxidizing (EO) water. Veggie Wash® provided the lowest antimicrobial effect, resulting in < 1 log reduction of the tested pathogens. Ozonated water produced significantly greater pathogen reduction on green onions, but was not able to further reduce pathogens on leafy vegetables as compared to water rinse. Chlorine based technologies (bleach and EO water) produced equal or greater pathogen reduction than other treatments, but exhibited minimal antimicrobial effect when tested on spinach.