Inactivation of Salmonella Enteritidis on lettuces used by minimally processed vegetable industries
Introduction: Washing and disinfection methods used by minimally processed vegetable industries of Southern Brazil were reproduced in laboratory in order to verify their effectiveness to reduce Salmonella Enteritidis SE86 (SE86) on lettuce.
Methodology: Among the five industries investigated, four carried out washing with potable water followed by disinfection with 200 ppm sodium hypochlorite during different immersion times.
Results: The washing procedure alone decreased approximately 1 log CFU/g of SE86 population and immersion times of 1, 2, 5, and 15 minutes in disinfectant solution demonstrated reduction rates ranging from 2.06±0.10 log CFU/g to 3.01±0.21 log CFU/g. Rinsing alone was able to reduce counts from 0.12±0.63 log CFU/g to 1.90±1.07 log CFU/g. The most effective method was washing followed by disinfection with 200 ppm sodium hypochlorite for 15 minutes and final rinse with potable water, reaching 5.83 log CFU/g of reduction. However, no statistical differences were observed on the reduction rates after different immersion times.
Conclusion: A time interval of 1 to 2 minutes may be an advantage to the minimally vegetable processed industries in order to optimize the process without putting at risk food safety.
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