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Perez-Rodriguez F.,University of Cordoba, Spain | Saiz-Abajo M.J.,National Center for Technology and Food Safety | Garcia-Gimeno R.,University of Cordoba, Spain | Moreno A.,National Center for Technology and Food Safety | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Food Microbiology | Year: 2014

Fecal pathogen distributions in fresh-cut leafy vegetables are essential to develop suitable sampling plans so as to detect pathogen contaminations. In this study, a typical fresh-cut lettuce process was reproduced at pilot scale with different initial inoculum levels of Salmonella on lettuce (6-7, 4 and 1. log. CFU/g). The pathogen was determined in all processed lettuce samples (n ≥. 50) and obtained count data were used to fit different probability distributions. The study showed that Salmonella is homogenously distributed on fresh-cut leafy vegetables as a result of processing (mainly washing) at all contamination levels. Negative binomial and Poisson-lognormal distributions were suitable to describe pathogen distribution at the high and medium levels. coefficient of variation modified (CV*) indicated no overdispersion (i.e. clustering). Nevertheless, further research will be needed to assess the effect of using disinfectants in washing water on the final distribution pattern of pathogens in processed fresh-cut leafy vegetables. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

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