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Food Microbiol. 2007 Oct-Dec;24(7-8):745-51. Epub 2007 Mar 15.

Survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica serovars Typhimurium in iceberg lettuce and the antimicrobial effect of rice vinegar against E. coli O157:H7.

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Department of Health, Central Region Laboratory, Bureau of Food and Drug Analysis, Executive Yuan, Taichung, Taiwan, ROC.


The microbiological safety of fresh produce is a significant concern of consumers and industry. After applying at an inoculated level (about 10(6) CFUg(-1)) of E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica serovars Typhimurium on shredded iceberg lettuce and water samples individually, they were stored at 4 degrees C for 14 days and 22 degrees C for 7 days to monitor the growth and survival of pathogens. The results showed that at the end of 4 degrees C storage, populations of two pathogens in lettuce and water decreased approximately 1 log CFUg(-1). However, microbial levels on shredded lettuce increased 3 logs within 3 days at 22 degrees C. Vinegar (acetic acid) had been used to reduce populations of foodborne pathogens in foods; hence, the antimicrobial effect of rice vinegar on the survival of E. coli O157:H7 in inoculated lettuce (10(4) and 10(7) CFUg(-1)) is examined in this study. Results were observed that the treatment of inoculated lettuce (10(7) CFUg(-1)) with commercial vinegar containing 5% acetic acid (pH 3.0) for 5 min would reduce 3 logs population at 25 degrees C. Less than a 1-log decrease in bacterial numbers was recovered during 5 min exposure to 0.5% (pH 3.26) acetic acid.

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