Assessing the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli on fruits and vegetables
Introduction: The number of registered foodborne diseases involving fresh produce is a preoccupation in many countries. For this reason, the aim of this study was to better understand the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, two indicators of hygienic and sanitary conditions, on fruits and vegetables that were exposed at different temperatures.
Methodology: The main salads served at the buffets of commercial restaurants were artificially contaminated with separate pools of both pathogens and subsequently exposed at 10, 20 and 30 °C and at different time intervals. Then, the growth potential of S. aureus and E. coli on each fruit and vegetable was determined.
Results: There was no significant S. aureus and E. coli growth on all evaluated foods exposed at 10 °C until 6 hours. When comparing both microorganisms, E. coli demonstrated higher growth potential than S. aureus on all analysed salads. Peculiarly, E. coli had the highest growth rate for the tomato (α = 6.43 at 30 °C), a fruit with low pH.
Conclusion: We suggest that fruits and vegetables should be distributed at temperatures equal to or lower than 10 °C and should not be kept for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
Copyright (c) 2019 Caroline Isabel Kothe, João Pedro Pessoa, Patricia Malheiros, Eduardo César Tondo
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