Salmonella transfer and survival on tomatoes and contact surfaces under various transportation and storage conditions
Piansay, Christabelle Maranan
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Pathogens can contaminate tomatoes as they contact different surfaces. This study determined Salmonella transfer rates between tomatoes and contact surfaces at varying moisture conditions. Salmonella inoculated tomatoes were placed in contact with three different food contact surfaces (HDPE, stainless steel, and PVC) while the inoculated surfaces were wet or after areas dried for either 1 or 24 h. Additionally, Salmonella inoculated food contact surfaces were placed in contact with uninoculated tomatoes while the inoculated surfaces were wet or after areas dried for either 1 or 24 h. Tomatoes were exposed to contact surfaces for 7 d. Pathogen transfer and survivor rates were evaluated following separation of the tomato and the surface. Wet contact immediately after inoculation resulted in the highest transfer rate. Allowing contaminated tomatoes to dry, prior to contacting surface materials, reduces transfer of Salmonella. Maintaining surface contact, over time, promotes survival but has little effect on transfer.