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J Food Prot. 2007 Jul;70(7):1717-22.

Assessment of contamination potential of lettuce by Salmonella enterica serovar Newport added to the plant growing medium.

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  • 1Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, PO Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel.


The capacity of Salmonella enterica serovar Newport to contaminate Romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. cv. Nogal) via the root system was evaluated in 17-, 20-, and 33-day-old plants. Apparent internalization of Salmonella via the root to the above-ground parts was identified in 33- but not 17- or 20-day-old plants and was stimulated by root decapitation. Leaves of lettuce plants with intact and damaged roots harbored Salmonella at 500 +/- 120 and 5,130 +/- 440 CFU/g of leaf, respectively, at 2 days postinoculation but not 5 days later. These findings are first to suggest that Salmonella Newport can translocate from contaminated roots to the aerial parts of lettuce seedlings and propose that the process is dependent on the developmental stage of the plant.

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