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J Food Prot. 2001 Dec;64(12):1891-8.

Use of green fluorescent protein expressing Salmonella Stanley to investigate survival, spatial location, and control on alfalfa sprouts.

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Cook College, Department of Food Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick 08901-8520, USA.


Laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) was used to observe the interaction of Salmonella Stanley with alfalfa sprouts. The green fluorescent protein (gfp) gene was integrated into the chromosome of Salmonella Stanley for constitutive expression, thereby eliminating problems of plasmid stability and loss of signal. Alfalfa seeds were inoculated by immersion in a suspension of Salmonella Stanley (ca. 10(7) CFU/ml) for 5 min at 22 degrees C. Epifluorescence microscopy demonstrated the presence of target bacteria on the surface of sprouts. LSCM demonstrated bacteria present at a depth of 12 microm within intact sprout tissue. An initial population of ca. 10(4) CFU/g seed increased to 7.0 log CFU/g during a 24-h germination period and then decreased to 4.9 log CFU/g during a 144-h sprouting period. Populations of Salmonella Stanley on alfalfa seeds decreased from 5.2 to 4.1 log CFU/g and from 5.2 to 2.8 log CFU/g for seeds stored 60 days at 5 and 22 degrees C, respectively. The efficacy of 100, 200, 500, or 2,000 ppm chlorine in killing Salmonella Stanley associated with sprouts was determined. Treatment of sprouts in 2,000 ppm chlorine for 2 or 5 min caused a significant reduction in populations of Salmonella Stanley. Influence of storage on Salmonella Stanley populations was investigated by storing sprouts 4 days at 4 degrees C. The initial population (7.76 log CFU/g) of Salmonella Stanley on mature sprouts decreased (7.67 log CFU/g) only slightly. Cross-contamination during harvest was investigated by harvesting contaminated sprouts, then directly harvesting noncontaminated sprouts. This process resulted in the transfer of ca. 10(5) CFU/g Salmonella Stanley to the noncontaminated sprouts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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